A Husband has 1 of 3 Choices

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In chapter 8 of our marriage book, How to Fight for Your Marriage Without Fighting with One Another, I discuss the 3 choices that husbands have when faced with difficulties in a marriage. Here’s a little food for thought from Dr. Raymond Force, Christian marriage speaker and coach.

 

A Husband is a Gardener

 

A husband is a gardener and his wife is a garden. If he fails to take care of his garden, weeds of sarcasm, anger, bitterness, boredom, and resentment will start to grow. It is at that point that every man has one of three choices:

 

The husband can choose to change gardens by way of leaving his spouse.

 

Although it is an unscriptural choice, if a man wants to, he can choose to leave his wife. It is not what he signed up for, nor would this choice correlate with the covenant of marriage. But, if providence chooses to leave him to his own devices, he can walk away from his marriage.

 

The husband can keep his garden, yet grow bitter about the weeds.

 

I feel that most men in a less than perfect marriage, fall underneath this present category. Instead of making the appropriate changes in their lives, they will stay in the marriage, yet get bitter about the negativite aspects of their wife and the relationship in general. Once this occurs, the man has started down the path of becoming a grumpy, negative husband.

Colossians 3:19 says:

 

“Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them.”

 

The Lord gives this command because he is more than aware that a man’s temptation is to live selfishly, yet complain about the biproduct of living in such a manner. His primary weakness is to become disgusted with the very weeds that his lack of love has helped to grow. In my view, this is why many a husband grows into a negative husband.

 

The husband can start doing what it takes to prevent the weeds from growing in his garden.

 

Option number three is not only best, but scriptural, and it involves the husband serving his wife as he would his own interests and desires (Ephesians 5:28). Of course, as mentioned in the last point, he can choose to complain about the weeds, but that will do little to further the cause of happiness in his marriage. He will do more to endear success by taking sole responsibility for the state of his garden and serve his wife as he agreed to do when he made a covenant before God and others.

negative husband

I find that many men are short sighted in that they fail to see that their actions have exposed their wives to their emotional vulnerabilities.  When they should have been focusing on the cause, they seem to become embittered about the effect. A failure to reverse this order will be the source of little or no progress in a man’s marriage. It will only serve as an impetus for a lukewarm relationship at best, and it will lead to the man coming across as simply a negative husband.

I have also seen that men will do more to fast-forward the problem solving process if they will ask themselves questions as such: If I had been sacrificially loving my wife from day one of our marriage, would she have ever felt so tempted to act in a negative manner to my behavior? Or, if I had been properly taking care of my garden in the first place, would these weeds of anger, sarcasm, unforgiveness, and resentment even be growing?

 

For Individual or Group Study

 

Our marriage book, How to Fight For Your Marriage Without Fighting With One Another, has been designed for individual as well as small group study purposes. To find out more about our marriage book, visit our online resource center. Our marriage book is also available for an immediate download in Kindle format.

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Posted in Issues Relating to Husbands

200 comments on “A Husband has 1 of 3 Choices
  1. T. C. says:

    I love the article above, it is amazing. I know I don’t land in the first area. I do land in the second but I want to be in the third. It seems like everytime that I want to make it better I make it worse. I was reading the comments and I see some of the things I do. Say the wrong thing at the wrong time tryin to play and make my wife smile but it hurts her heart instead.

    I notice that I blame a lot of my issues on the lack of money. Lacking funds makes me grumpy because I can’t give my family what they need. But at the same time I am very codependent, which I would recommend men to take a test to see if you are. All I can say is reach for what you believe is hard because the easy stuff isn’t going to be the thing that needs to be fixed.

  2. anonymous says:

    How do you handle the husbands alcoholism in this book? Should the wife leave if he’s a threat to her safety or stay and work it out? What about denial of these problems? The husband blames the wife for his problems…then what?

    • Anonymous says:

      I too would like to know the answer to this? My husband drinks and is sometime a threat to our safety when he’s really drunk and confronted about it. He gets very belligerent. There is no togetherness in our marriage, only emptiness. We either argue about everything or say nothing at all to each other. He blames me for his drinking and does not take ownership for it at all. He spends most of his time with drinking buddies. He make no time for us. I have grown so bitter and resentful towards him just like you mention because he does not tend to his garden.

  3. Brenda says:

    The author of this article and the website has plenty of advice for wives if you care to look around. This particular piece is for husbands.

  4. Anonymous says:

    What if your husband says things to him is funny but to you its talking down to you? He says he’s joking by insulting remarks

    • Kelly says:

      A husband should listen to what his wife is telling him. He should also care about your feelings. Then he should start working on his behavoior. That being said, I too have a husband that says things to hurt my feelings. Most of the time I know he is joking. But then I remember that what we say, we believe. So what truth is behind the “joke”. But in the long run do believe husbands like ours are truly smarty pants at heart and with us they are just so comfortable with us that they forget we are not the “fellas” My advice to you would be, if you have a couple that you both are close to, see if maybe the other husband would be willing to bring it up to him. Many times men listen to their peers. Especially if their close. Unfortunately for me I don’t have that kind of circle of friends. So that isn’t anything I’ve been able to do. Good luck.

    • Norma says:

      That’s narcissistic and a whole different type of dysfunction

  5. Melissa says:

    What do you do when a husband may not even realize or admit how negative he is, even when others who care about me bring it up with me and not him? When I bring it up then I’m the “bad wife” and if I say nothing it’s so enabling. I can’t grow our marriage by myself.

    • Kelly says:

      I understand what you are saying. Ive said that a many of times when reading articles that seemed one sided.As with any article, it is up to the reader to take knowledge and understanding of what is wrote. For most part it is us women doing all the reading but if the writer can grab the attention of just one husband with its title or the way it is written and help that one man in his marriage, then the writer was successful.

    • Christina S says:

      Hey Melissa,
      I know that it seems like you’re caught in a catch 22 here. In the end, you are responsible for your own actions, attitudes, and words. You’re accountable to the Lord for you, and your husband is accountable for himself. Pray pray pray! I’ve honestly seen it work when I bite my tongue and ask the Lord to speak to my husband’s heart. You’re not enabling when you’re being obedient to Christ in honoring and respecting your husband.
      Don’t give up!

      • Jamie says:

        The absolute best advice! I heard the lord telling me this, but your words are conformation. Tank you!

      • Rachael S. says:

        Christina S.
        So beautifully spoken! I think that is the perfect answer for most marital fights(at least in my marriage) I have to learn to be quite and let God speak to me and him. Thank you so much!!!

      • Anarcsurvivor says:

        Unless the husband or wife is narcissisistic. Then none of this works. Let’s be real, there are more narcissistic partners now than ever before. Christianity or any other religion does not work in these cases. The statement is true…it takes 2, who care, in order to make a marriage work.

      • Anonymous says:

        Perfectly worded!

  6. Marriage is Beautiful if it's right says:

    This is really not hopeful if you make this sound one sided. I don’t know if you know this but, in marriage, life, and relationships, it’s just not all about the woman I’m sorry. Especially the way society, and the law has men by the nuts. Marriage is a beautiful thing and the best if its right. If it doesn’t work, it can be the worst, and then the way the law is now, it becomes business (doing the worst leaving Godliness out of it). If you really want to reach men, you cannot speak one-sided. This really makes a lot of women not want to even take responsibility for what they may contribute to the problem (like something to hide behind). Everything this post says is true, but if it goes both ways. Say something that would want to make men and women approach this their problems pointing out both possible wrongs, rights, and so on. If it’s not God first, 100% her and 100% him, and the married couple playing their roles with respect for each other, it may not last. Compatibility is also a major ignored factor. But I wish all married couples the best, and would encourage you to be fair to each other, get things out on the table with respect, and ensure each other that you all have each other.

    • Mella says:

      I agree with you. It does sound one sided but the author is only giving a quip, so the other side may be next…but I had thought after reading this: Well, their target market must be young women that arent tired yet of spilling this out in an array of creative forms before their man. For whatever reason, men look at women as an obligation, a chore, a maid mother type.They are not delighted by her person (so she is not cherished) and they certainly do not “study” (in love) her once married. FIREPROOF “Do you study Tina?” Pride. Also, girls and boys alike have no template anymore or standard to go by except TV which is a sad example. The men that need this info the most wont read this. You have to MAKE them watch a marriage movie. My husband isnt negative but he is extremely centered on self happiness.Its my fault I wont be happy with his hobbies that he desires more than me.I can “come along.” Just want to point out that the negativity is (indifference)in the avoiding one another when everyone goes their own way whistling but inwardly are growing WEEDS. A USELESS garden/life. A wasting.

      • Amanda Sheppard says:

        Wow. Finally someone who put into words the scenario of my marriage.. it’s quite sad. We coexist. If I want to spend time with my husband, I have to share his attention with the movie he’s engarossedbin or the video game he’s dedicated to, almost more so than our relationship. Whenever I ask him to come sit with me and just talk or just be..He refuses. He says he shouldn’t feel forced to do what he doesn’t want to do. So I just go on about my business. I serve him. I enjoy doing so. It’s his inability to make his garden a priority. He’s not even romantic in the least bit. I get maybe one hug a day. A quick peck on his way out the door. And he believes that everything here is 100% OK.

    • Laura Mehaffey says:

      I see a dozen or so comments about this being one sided – I would point out it is an except from a book. I doubt the entire book is one sided, although to be fair I haven’t read it, I’m just very familiar with Christian marriage books in general. God gave instructions for both partners in a marriage, although, He does put the primary responsibility on the husband. After all, the Church doesn’t save Christ.

      • Kim says:

        Thank you, thank you, thank you! This is what I have been reading in the Bible for years. To whomsoever much is GIVEN, of him shall much be REQUIRED. God put man in the leadership position, not the wife; the buck stops with HIM. Husbands love your wives as Christ loved the church and GAVE HIMSELF for it doesn’t mean that a man just be willing to take a bullet for his wife if necessary. Jesus loved FIRST. He INITIATED, just as He made man in His image to do. He loves UNCONDITIONALLY. That means…well…unconditionally. When things are worse. When they are poorer. And yes, when there is sickness. When he has to put HER physical needs above his own. In spite of what feminists (including male feminists) claim, men and women are not physically equal. The God who made both of us said so. It is long past time for Christian husbands to take responsibility for themselves and their marriages and not cross their arms, pout, and declare that they’re not doing anything until “the woman that God gavest me” gets HER act together.

        • Aloysius says:

          It’s all quite simple. What did God say? What did God write? Has God changed?
          It’s very interesting to me that we all call ourselves followers of Christ but when something is “clearly” written and does not agree with us we fight, point fingers or walk away. God is love. He sent His Son to die for these very things. God is listening people and will hold us accountable when we add or take away from His word. A marriage should not be one sided. The articles have seemed one sided. That’s not God. Read the scriptures and it’s all there. God didn’t try to confuse us. He is a straight shooter always hitting His target through love.

    • Flan says:

      You may have missed the point but you didn’t miss the mark with your reasoning cannon.

    • D Russell says:

      My husband didn’t delight in me or my children from a previous marriage. He thought I was raising them wrong and I would’ve been more amenable to his suggestions if I or they felt that he was genuinely interested in them and could communicate to them that he saw some good things and strengths. I was very bored because I had had a long career before I married him and started my own dance studio whether he was on board or not. I know that this was a mistake but I so wanted him to understand and even approve since this decision came from the core of my being. You are right, we were both so selfish just wanting what we wanted. He was 14yrs older than I and retired and just sat around the house. I so wanted him to be a partner with me and share in the beautiful way we could influence young students’ lives at the dance studio. But it was all for naught, he left and 6mos later presented me with divorce papers

    • Kelly says:

      I’m a women and I agree to what you have said. As I was reading this I kept thinking, why are they only telling this story about the man and doesn’t it take 2 to tango?? Not a fair evaluation here!

    • JD says:

      Clearly is just meant to teach about the husband’s role. There’s a role for every family member; children listen to your parents, mothers and fathers even have their own role on their children’s lives. Wives are suppose to submit to their husbands because the husband is suppose the be the leader of the household.

    • Anonymous says:

      I think what the message and the bible verse is saying is……The more you tend to the garden, the more the garden will be fruitfull for you….

    • Jackie says:

      You are so right, 100 percent on both sides with respect. Putting everything on the table. Starting your marriage out with no secrets is a great start. Amen brother

    • Becca says:

      I think it’s one sided because this passage from the book is addressed to one side. The author is telling husbands what their options are if they find themselves in this vicious cycle in their marriage. While the wife is obviously responsible for her wrong actions and attitudes, even when they are a reaction to flaws in her husband, the husband cannot force her to change. He can choose one of these options on how to deal with it. I would guess that there is also a passage in the book addressed to wives outlining what they can do in this situation. It probably discusses finding the fulfillment of those needs (love, affirmation, etc) in Christ so that she can love and respect her husband even when he is not meeting her needs. This way she can work to break the cycle.

    • Heather says:

      I am the wife that came to the marriage deeply hurt and flawed. I am the wife with a temper and the inability to communicate. My husband is the one who has loved me unconditionally, sacrificially and wholeheartedly and that in turn and time has softened my heart and depends my desire to be a better wife to him.

  7. Seneca says:

    Or the wife can take some darn responsibility and quit putting everything off on the husband. I swear, I don’t know if its feminism or a strain of utopian Christianity, but there is this baseline belief that women are basically innocent and men are basically flawed. I am dealing with this right now with some friends. His wife makes awful, unilateral decisions that cause great problems but then gets upset when her husband doesn’t back her. She is constantly on him with a list of problems he has to fix. She never looks at herself. I see this same dynamic all around me. My Facebook timeline is full of “advice” for men, and women’s list of demands of what men should be. But no man would dare post something similar. There is deep rot at the core of modern American womanhood just as much, if not more so, than at the core of American manhood.

    • ElizabethP says:

      Seneca, I couldn’t agree more. Our entire culture has become one that no longer values men and women, but worships women and belittles men (and that sure has done wonders for the family, hasn’t it?).

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree with you,and I am a woman. I think it’s not fair the men. It’s a shame.

    • WWB says:

      I couldn’t agree more. This article and many other articles books movies all aimed at putting 100% of the responsibility on the man and none on the woman. This article speaks from that underlying premise that if men do what they are supposed to do then women will perfectly agree and follow and if there is a problem in the marriage it’s only because the man has not been doing what he is supposed to do. This is utterly false. This premise more closely follows Mormon theology in Christian theology.

    • Hurting Husband says:

      Well Said!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      There’s a great rot in all of mankind, Sin. It has many forms. Every man must look inward & measure their life by scripture. It doesn’t happen over night, but with much prayer & consistency it can change.

    • mr lost says:

      thank you somuch for saying that. i sugfest everyone read the book Wild at Heart by John Eldridge. He does an amazing job in describing the mystery of a mans heart. I think in this day in age people simply dont value marriage anumore. i wish i had time to explain that im currently phhsically abused by my wife. she is a pathological liar and a narcacist in EVERY SENSE OF THE WORD. she is constantly talking down to me in frknt of our children, and creates arguments about facebook and whh i have a lock on my phone. the abuse has gone on for qyite some time. although she will deny everg single bit of it. i feel stuck and atbtimes worry about the safety of my children and myself.

  8. Anonymous says:

    What if your husband is a drug addict and that’s what is destroying your marriage?

    • Amanda says:

      I have akways had a problem in my brain that causes depression but i believe in God and i have been able to deal. I found a man i just couldnt believe had a horrible insane past like i did. I am 8yrs sober and he has been on pills that change him horribly. I stay by his side and its been 12yrs. Im 43 and have really lost alot and he is not through. We lost our family young. My kids are my world. Im so depressed now, i lost my strength and can barely get out of bed. Im scared now idont want to be remembered like this! !

    • Samantha says:

      Pray for him. Pray for yourself. Ask God to do what you can not. He delivers from addictions. Trust Him. I know very well what it is to be married to a drug addict. A Christian addict. A Christian. Progress often looks like these 3 statements. Have faith and patience and you will see God change what you can not.

    • Kodi says:

      Pray for him as well as pray for God to intervene and direct your path! If you are unsafe, you must leave. Seek a Christian counselor for yourself. They were able to give me biblical guidance and accountability when I desperately needed it too!

  9. Danielle says:

    When my husband and I married 11 years ago neither of us had found the lord. Over the course of our marriage I have found the lord due to the many trials our marriage has gone through. What do you do when he wants nothing to do with church or even believing in god when you are the sole person to teach that to your children and try to teach them the ways of the lord? I know the lord only allows divorce in certain instances. My husband is also a very high functioning alcoholic. I am supposed to stick with this and suffer due to my mistakes and not finding a Christian husband?

    • Beverly Babb Lee says:

      Hey Danielle,

      Please send me a friend request. I would like to pray for you.

      • Audrey says:

        My husband says he believes in the Lord yet he’s filled with so much anger and hatred and wonders why we have so many issues in our life it seems that nothing we do ever turns out right I’m at my wits end and don’t know what to do anymore I cry out daily for the many issues we have don’t know what else to do

        • Marla says:

          Has anything changed for you?? I struggle with the same thing. I wonder if it’s just me and I see it wrong. I’m so tired.

    • Lucy says:

      This is how I see it: you either stick with him and keep trying to help him, separate for a time with the intention of going back to him when he fixes himself, or divorce him but realize that 1.you do not have biblical reason to divorce him, 2. you may not rightfully enter another romantic relationship until the day he dies.

      • Anonymous says:

        Lucy, while your reply is scripturally correct your reply is abusive because Danielle is in a great deal of pain and she likely can not hear your reply since it is truthful but without love.

        Speaking the truth with love is the best way to encourage a sister in Christ.

        Danielle, the Lord hears your cry. He will restore what sin has taken. Pray and the Lord will speak life into your family.

        • Anonymous says:

          So my question would be… is Danielle expected to live a life in misery and anguish, for however long this man is alive if this is not the man she originally married??? Instead of removing herself from a potentially dangerous situation and living the godly life she so desperately wants/needs… this is only a question mearly out of me not understanding… please i mean absolutely no offences…

        • ElizabethP says:

          Anonymous, you would be in disagreement with the Bible to accuse Lucy of abuse for explaining precisely what God’s Word says about the matter. The Bible is clear about the guidelines for marriage. Likewise, the Bible is clear about God abounding in love and mercy and hearing the prayers of His children.

          Call upon the Lord, cry out to Him. But whether things should turn out the way we want we are to honor God. Marriage is the primary earthly picture of our relationship with the Lord, and when we are rebellious, selfish and faithless, He is faithful. We are called to be the same and He’s given us His Holy Spirit to equip us to do just that.

          Danielle & Audrey, I’ll be praying for you, that you would seek God’s Word for His direction and pray for His Spirit to comfort and strengthen you.

          Anonymous, you too, should pray for wisdom before accusing a sister in Christ because you don’t like the way she said something. The measure is not whether it makes us feel fuzzy inside, it’s whether it aligns with the Bible. Otherwise, Nathon’s conversation with David and God’s conversation with Job (both of whom were certainly suffering at the time) would have been very different indeed.

        • Anonymous says:

          Exceptionally Eloquent

      • Tammy says:

        Life is too short to not be happy. Period. God wouldn’t give us happiness in Him if it weren’t attainable. I serve a fair and just God. I don’t know who you serve.

        • Merrie Beth says:

          Happiness in Him and happiness in the world are two different things. He says we will have trouble. Specifically if we choose to marry! He went out of His way to say this in the Bible. We win in the end. And we can on,y have peace bow if we trust in Him. But He doesn’t guarantee earth,y happiness!

      • Anonymous says:

        Be quiet and let your conduct win him over to the Lord

        • Anonymous says:

          Please look at all of scripture. This verse alone is dangerous in a situation where a spouse is in the wrong. It is not truly loving to allow a spouse to continue in sin. I submitted to the verse for years. By keeping quiet, and even sinning against my own conscience, it allowed my husband to grow into a monster and it drove me to despair. Now that I no longer keep quiet but lovingly confront my husband in the midst of his sin, things are better. We still have things to work on, but the verbal/emotionalabuse has eased up. Only when I tell him that I will not allow him to treat me that way, is when he listens. Psalm 21:3 “To do what is right and just is more acceptable than sacrifice.” Do not sacrifice yourself on the altar of marriage.

      • Jules says:

        ,…. And if she does ??,.. Is she going to hell ??

      • Anonymous says:

        1 Corinthians 7:12-17

        Your biblical reason for divorce.

        • A sister says:

          Jesus says that Marriage is symbolic of the body of Christ and the Church.
          He’s the Husband and the Church is the Bride. If you joined a church and 10 years of faithful following and service with the same church are you a member and in covenant with this church? Would you consider yourself faithful till the end?
          What if the leadership begins preaching “occult” like sermons, asked for personal sacrifices..your preacher is bringing drugs into his home and prostitutes for the men on his men’s retreats?Do you stay? Did you wait for the idolatry, adultry, and cursing from his pulpit before you decided that this “church” was not Godly?
          Who felt it was the Lord saying to be faithful to your church & just pray for change or would you feel the liberty to decide this church is unGodly leadership & a dangerous place to continue to bring your family or children for spiritual and emotional influence? Would you be led to report this and seek intervention- yes!
          Would you as a Christian want to save this Pastor and members, Yes!
          But can you do the work while serving that master..I think not.

          If then, a natural husband is as the Church- is as the Bride of Christ = sacrificial & honorable leader.
          To trust and honor her Church is honoring God. Jesus had many things to say about his Temple in that corruption did not belong in it. He declared he would “destroy” it in 3 days and yes- he did.
          If your marriage is not honoring God then it is not of God. It is not a “cross” to bare if the husband is anti-Christ in his intentions for his Bride.
          I am not saying “Divorce” is an escape from an unhappy marriage by any means but for those who know the Bible-
          God divorced Israel
          And took the Gentiles as his new Bride.
          This is for them who have an ear to hear.
          Remember no sin is greater than any other in the eyes of the Lord. And the Lord spoke to the Pharisees about casting the first stones.
          Be strong and do pray and do speak against principalities and claim victory over your spouse and your children & your household; it is your blessing.
          BUT above all -seek wisdom and honor God in your life.
          He forgave all and we are blameless in the sight of God when we call upon His name and His nature.
          He is the example of who we are to be for one another.
          God is after the hearts and Relationship with man and woman, not their knowledge of scripture.

          Peace

    • Stacey B says:

      I’m very sorry to hear you are going through such a rough situation. I went through something similar that lasted about 5 years from start to finish. God is a God of honoring His promises. Stick by your husband and continue to pray for him. Only God knows his heart and can change it. Be faithful and I promise God will work to deliver you in His time and in His plan. It’s a hard road, I won’t pretend it is east. A great many times I felt like throwing in the towel. But God is just and God sees your heart in honoring your promises. A great resource for further conversation is Focus on the family. They have great programs/ counselors that can help you further… don’t lose hope♡

    • Christina says:

      I myself am going through something similar. I chose my husband. He was not forced on me. I chose to marry him, and the Lord calls wives to love and honor and submit to their husbands as to the Lord. Is it easy? Its impossible if we don’t rely on Christ every moment of everyday. Scripture is clear. If the unbelieving husband leaves you, let him leave, but if he chooses to stay, how do you know he won’t be saved? I cling to the scriptures concerning wives. Now, I will tell you what my pastor exhorted/ encouraged me to do. If he is physically harming you or your children then there are steps to take. Not divorce necessarily, but possibly a short separation. This is not only for protectection, but he needs to understand certain things in a marriage are wrong, even from a worldly view. PRAY for him! It says God moves the hearts of kings. Also remember what we were once like ourselves. Blinded by our own sin and on our way to hell. This is the fate of our husbands without salvation. Reading the Bible and hopefully you have a good teacher that can help you and godly older women to go to. John MacArthur has a beautiful sermon called ‘How To Win Your Unbelieving Spouse’. You can listen to it online for free @ gty.org. Sorry this response is so long. I have been saved for almost 6 years now and it has been the hardest but also most peaceful an sanctifying of my life. Remember God is goo, He loves you and He is right here with you.

    • K says:

      Hello friend, I wanted to reach out, because although my experience is a little different, I was saved right before marriage, and he was already saved, I have been in my marriage for nearly 25 years, and stayed because of the biblical teachings of marriage and my vows I made before the Lord. I was faithful and still faithful to that end. What has helped me, is my rock and my anchor, and that is only through the power of the Holy Spirit, that I cling to. He is my steady and so faithful God whom I can lean on. I have raised 6 children, stay at home, homeschooling mother to them, and I see the destruction that has placed my older 3, in paths of questioning God, questioning themselves, questioning us, as parents and spiritual leaders, and I face the daunting task of looking at 3 more children, and wonder whats in store for them, because I stayed and endured abuse, mentally, physical, and other means of control, and believed it was what I was supposed to do. Its a scary unknown future we place in the hands of a Father, who truly loves and cares for us. He doesnt want to see His children hurt, neglected and abused. You didnt mention abuse, but living with alcoholism and behavior disorders, personality wise, for nearly 25 years, I suspect you might be. Because my husband was a minister too, we all kept his secret for him. I wish I could say, I stayed and was patient all the time, for God to bring about His plan to save us, but I was not perfect! Thank God, He has revealed the secrets, and it is out, but the abuse has not left the home, nor the alcohol. It has just been shined a light on. I feel crazy, and my sanity is necessary to continue on and fight the fight for my children, and I am no longer hanging my every step, on having to stay in a bad, bad, marriage. I am not advocating divorce, but I am saying, get support, find alanon via facebook, or other means, for meetings, and find your strength from the Lord, and do the next thing, one day at a time, and you will find your peace, and what you need to do. Im in 3 years of finding support, alanon, and then the doors opened and my husband has been given the chance to repent, and change, so far, he has only confessed, but his heart has not changed towards me, his children, or his alcohol. I can only keep praying for him, but keep myself and my children, at a distance, and let go, get out of the way, and let God be God and do what He wills for my husbands life. That is sanity, that is getting off the crazy cycle and finding health, peace, restoring my Joy, and allowing my 3 younger kids to know what healthy, normal homelife is.

    • Ss says:

      I’m in a similar situation. But I am a believer and my husband tricked me for 11 years. I’m not sure he really is a Christian as he is leaving me for another woman instead of working on us. We have 3 children and now I have to protect them from him in the divorce. I’m trusting God for the outcome as I believe he was a good man and believer but this woman was a terrible influence and has no morals. She left her husband to pursue mine.and he doesn’t see all he sin he is living in. He blames me and made up lies to make me look bad. The lord will have his vengeance if this behavior continues.

    • Alexa says:

      Try the book, “Boundaries” by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend. They also have a great one, “Boundaries in Marriage”. I recommend the Boundaries one first, to gain an in-depth, Christian perspective on healthy boundaries. I just led a class on the “Boundaries in Marriage”, and it’s hard work, but such a blessing. Don’t be deceived into the “suffering for Jesus” mentality if you are in a physically OR emotionally abusive relationship. Jesus came to SET US FREE – Romans 8:15
      For you did not receive a spirit of slavery that returns you to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” The respondent below, “K”, says it best. If wise counselors tell you that you are ENABLING your husband’s alcohol abuse by giving him a “comfortable” homelife, then the most loving thing might be for you to get the kids out and away from him for a time. You have no guarantees about whether you can get your husband back, but if you allow your kids to live in an abusive environment, there is a 100% chance they will grow up emotionally and spiritually scarred. I would recommend finding a licensed Christian counselor, to give you a healthy perspective on whether you and your kids are truly in an abusive/dangerous environment. Don’t trust your gut – it’s like the frog boiling in the pot of water… we rarely are able to view our own situation objectively. Hugs, prayers, and blessings for you and your kids.

      • Mella says:

        The physical abuse in the beginning stopped and it became emotional deadness. He fulfills providing obligations. He isnt the worst in the world but I do feel like a martyr in sacrificing my happiness and options and my three boys have all mimicked him. Sometimes I wonder if God wants me to leave and then God and I can do something with my life instead of just serving the home (maid). I am very intelligent but have been worn down dumb. I dont have the vocabulary I once did.Ive been out of society overworked with chores. Question: What’s the difference between the unbelieving spouse that walks away from you and sets you free from marriage (bondage) and the one that sits on you but refuses to love and relate to you and checks out with his heart but obeys the norm and custom of being “married?” Ive been the bigger person and it doesnt work for me. 21 years of marriage. No grandchildren yet.

    • A. Williams says:

      I went through a similar thing. When we met I was raised Baptist and he raised Catholic, but neither of us went to church regularly. We married and had two children. About five years later, I began attending a local church. We had spoken about starting church when we had children, but hadn’t. He wasn’t interested, so I began taking the kids myself. Things started to change within me. He drank on a regular basis, but wasn’t abusive physically. His drinking bothered me because it was obvious and he’d become critical. Many tears. It was a bad example for the kids. Someone will not change because they’re told to. I beat him with so many words. Hurtful words I can’t take back. Lots of arguments. I wasn’t bringing him any closer to the Lord with my words either. If it was physical, I would have left day one, but this was mostly something that bothered me. But I loved him..dearly. I refused to just leave because of that. I began talking to God about it. I have no idea how many times I gave it to God and took it back. Years went by..nothing changed but me and my kids were learning the word too. My oldest did start to see that it bothered me, and began to dislike it. I began praying about it instead of losing my temper..asking God out loud to please take this and to please make it taste like vinegar. He saw me go through two church splits, and settle into another church. He came a couple of times, but not regularly. Not until 2010, with about thirteen years of marriage, when I settled into a church and started getting involved he decided to come. Slowly something began to happen. He was interested. One day I wanted to go to Sunday school, and he came along. We were going to church! Sunday school to boot! Much much prayer. Lots of prayer, lots of heartache, lots of tears, but God began to work on his heart. It was amazing to see. If you adore him and intend to stay and stick it out, (barring any kind of abuse) Pray. Pray every day, every time you think about it. Ask the Lord to show you a direction. We’ve been married twenty years next April. I adore my husband, and although we are not perfect by any stretch, God is at work and has done some amazing things in front of us. He still battles the demon, but it’s not like it was. My husband became a member with me at our church last year. He is growing, knows more than I do already I’m certain from study. Now, he encourages me when I start to slip. It’s not always easy, but it’s worth it all to have seen all that has transpired. I hope you’ll seek the Lord’s guidance, and I’ll pray for you. Only God can change a heart.

      • Stale mate marriage says:

        Like! This is such a wonderful example of submission, obedience, faithfulness, patience, love and most importantly forgiveness taking place in this child of God’s heart! No matter, male or female. This, solidifies God’s truth through real life tangible proof in that the single most important thing we as small minded born sinners seem to misunderstand due to personal emotions and or ideals. No regard to any situation, if we claim to be a Christian, the single most important factor is simple, one has to have the personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Key word (PERSONAL)! Not feeling like you’re understanding our situation merits the right to correct another. Not only our spouses, this applies all mankind. I will proudly say that I have been blessed to have overcome many things. Drugs, depression, suicidal thoughts as well as attempts, adultery, crime, you name it. I once believed that there was no way God could love me much less save me, but the more severe the pain the more powerful yet simple he will use a faithful servant to meet you wherever you are to display Christ only because the servant is grateful for their salvation. No other motive will impact a life to change a heart instantly. This is because God is the love and the method, the servant is merely being obedient and allowing God to do his will. Our own understanding generally only brings confusion and so on. With this said, my wife and I married fairly young. She was 20,I was only 18. That was July 21 2001. Before I knew Christ truly, I claimed I had been saved yet I was ignorant to the word. Very little church. Wife has been in church basically her entire life. Where we are in our marriage right now is really a shame. It’s like we’re stale mate. She’s been hurt emotionally and I admit some physical for the better part of our time. I own the fault and have no shame in admitting that. I’m 36 now and I am struggling with her because she says I’m not saved or don’t serve Christ cause she can’t see the fruits of labor. I get frustrated and confused at times due to my interpretation of the spirit is seems so different from hers. She says I am the one that’s wronged her, she hasn’t done me wrong so she’s not putting forth effort it’s all my job to change. Reality is yes I’ve done many hurtful things and will again because I’m human and selfish by nature. I say to her, all these years, right wrong or indifferent, her attempts to help me only hurt me more and pushed me away because she insisted on my conforming to her ideals and I did with tons of things because I needed to change. But I have never truly felt like she loved and liked me for me. Still don’t. I left over and over again always came back because one thing deep inside me says she’s the one made specific for me. From the day we met and still stands. I will not leave her again because I know he’s working. I confess I’m not putting her first completely. Not been praying deeply over it lately and it’s not because what she is or isn’t doing for me, or how I’m treated or honored. It’s because I’m allowing my own feelings and emotions to control my actions willingly from my hurt resulting from this marriage and life. I admit I’m not seeking my father for strength, guidance, compassion. I’ve not been completely submissive to God’s will and I’m the only one responsible. He has to be first and we have to be obedient in accepting his will not our own. Yes it’s long but I felt it has to be said.

    • Sarah says:

      Danielle,
      It is a difficult path to walk, that you are on. My heart goes out to you! My MIL was in the same shoes for 33 years. She became a Christian several years after they got married, and my FIL remained a bitter, critical, controling man. She almost gave up, but my husband & I were able to pray with her, look at scriptures about being a godly wife, and read Power of a Praying Wife. At 70 years old my FIL accepted Christ! I firmly believe the change in him began when she humbled herself & asked God to change her first, and she stoped trying to “fix/change” him, she stopped looking at all his faults & started working on her own, asking God to make her the wife her husbanded needed her to be, we began to see a softening of his heart. It took another 5+ years but he accepted! Now they do daily devotions together, small group, church weekly, etc
      Don’t give up hope!!

    • Wendy says:

      I went through a different situation (following his lead down a path i shouldn’t have ) yet similar in regards to church. I was told by a Pastor this, the wife is to be submissive to her husband ONLY when he is submissive to the Lord. When he isn’t submissive to the Lord and is going down the wrong path, she DOES NOT havr to follow. She can encourage him towards her path, but remember we can’t change them. It took me 20+yrs to realize that. Pray for him. Also make sure God isn’t trying to close one door in order to open another. The last 3yrs, i tried desperately to help my husband become a better man. I took him back numerous times after he had an affair and finding out he had lied about it being over. I had the story of the Prodical Son in mind while doing this. I thought God was using me (because I had been away from God for so long and was back where i needed to be) to reach him. I was wrong. After 20yrs of marriage, God was closing that door. I thought my world had ended. Actually it had, the world i knew. I didnt think i could live without this man. I got out of bed because of my son, i knew i had too. Now we are separated, I’m a single mom with a son who has Aspergers and i love my life. I like being on my own. I lost myself in my marriage and I have found myself again. Good luck to u.

  10. Irma says:

    I would like to get my husband to read this book if I order how can I tell him to read it would really help us a lot in our relationship I’ve been with him 10 years and at this moment it has been so rough I’m about to make a decision and divorce him but still I would like to fight for my marriage do you think it will Chang him to a good man .

  11. Shannon says:

    How do I get this book? My husband and I have been best friends for 6 years. I met him 11 months after my 1st husband died in a car wreck and was emotionally unavailable to date him. So he stuck it out because he said I was “the one” 4 years later we started dating and recently was married November 1st. About a month into the marriage a lot changed. It seems as if we lost our friendship along the way and we fight a lot where when we were dating we rarely ever had an arguement. I recently did some soul searching going back over some scripture and realized being a single parent for so long I was trying to be in control of the marriage. About a week ago I told him I was ready to start following him as the leader of our family. It changed a lot but not everything and I would absolutely love this book to read with him. Thank you for the article.

    • Mike Carolan says:

      ANY time that a relationship has formed and the people involved love God – Satan will do everything in his power to undermine that union. I have found that in my 23 years of marriage to my wife that it takes daily prayer by both husband and wife to keep the marriage strong. Even with daily prayer – there will be instances where it feels like an uphill battle for a bit. If it’s just “difficult” – and NOT “detrimental” consider these times as a “purification process” – where God puts you through things as a couple to make it a stronger bond. If hubby is reluctant to read the book with you – pray FOR him. God wants BOTH of you to be happy. He will eventually feel that tug on his heart and he will read with you.

  12. Sarah says:

    After 15 yrs of marriage, 5 affairs, admitted sex addiction, and my husband’s lack of faith in God, I really wish he would consider reading this book. We fight or are “cold” most of the time and I’m doing everything I can to keep my head above water and repair our marrriage single handedly. He says that he only married me to change me and that he’s never really liked me… I’m not consumed with weeds, but there are definitely a few.

    • Sarah,

      I am sorry that you have been dealing with these issues. We will pray for you today.

      Have you read our book? Chapters 1 and 6 are especially important for either spouse.

      Dr. Force

    • J says:

      You may be dealing with a narcissist and you need to get out! If he’s not willing to meet you half way then you are no longer in a relationship, he’s controlling you. Seriously, do some homework on narcissistic men and their relationships. If you choose to stay, find a Christian counselor and pray every day for your husband. Watch the War Room and begin there to build your prayer life with God.

      • Christine says:

        Amen. Wonderful thoughts and advice. I have dealt with same types of things . I have always prayed for my husband but now I get alone and I fight for my husband!!!!! I remind Satan, My God is bigger and I pray the blood of Jesus over him every day I don’t miss a day!!! In the last month ; I have seen my husband excited about church, sen him go out back on porch took his computer and was SHOCKED he was out the worshipping and singing and praising God. Change from God. You can’t do it , God does it ! Be bold be firm and pray pray pray . Be blessed you’ll make it through.

        • Theresa says:

          I love this. I so need to pray for my husband, he has so much bitterness and resentment towards me for how I took him for granted. I am going to start praying for him more. Thanks Theresa

    • Victoria says:

      Because of the addiction and your husband’s lack of faith, you need to get help for yourself. Please look into the on-line groups or find a group in your area for partners of SA’s. I recommend Journey to Healing and Joy, Women in the Battle, and Beyond Betrayal. You cannot repair your marriage single-handedly. I am so sorry that you are in this situation. I know the pain and helplessness. I hope and pray you will reach out for healing and care for YOURSELF. regardless of what your husband chooses to do or not do. If he is unrepentant, pray for him but please get help, support, and get on with your life.

    • Anonymous says:

      Sarah I’m on Facebook please find me. Troy and Abigail Clone, send me a friend request please. Praying for you.

  13. Anonymous says:

    This has been my unfortunate reality for many years, my husband not only neglected his garden but he has hated and abused it for a very long time, now he is sick with cancer and the grounds are hardened and overgrown with weeds… I am having an extremely difficult time loving him through this, as much as it hurts me to see him in pain and I fight through my own resentment anger and bitterness, he doesn’t have my whole heart and I don’t know if I can get to that place of love that a wife should have for her husband, but I would never let him suffer… I am the one still suffering because he is still very difficult to deal with

    • Vee says:

      My heart hurts for you and I can relate, although it is with a stroke. It is such a miserable way to feel and although I LOVE the Lord, I am finding it difficult to have compassion because of the horrible life this man has given myself and our children that people aren’t aware of. Keep pressing in on God and let Him lead your steps. It is the ONLY way to get through it and for whatever reason, we have been chosen to help them through. I will be praying for you!

    • Michelle Travis-Hays says:

      Same here. . .stage 3 lymphoma and we also have an Autistic child who will be one always. 18yrs of turbulence and a lot if verbal emotional and physical abuse… I loved him unconditionally allowed him to make all household decision. . . Full submission.. . A month ago his anger and implusiveness caused my 22yr oldvand myself to be forced out with the clothes on ours backs no money friends or place to go. . . God provided all thoses needs within 48hrs. . . Within two wks employment. My husband has our 2 younger boys. He is struggling financially physically spiritually yet still he blames resents and trys to intimidate me. His garden is no longer even alive with weeds. . . It is a dry dessert. He put a devoted Christian wife out. Biblically there is no grounds for divorce that I know of nor would I break a covenant with God.But I am not sure how to honor my Lord and stay married or jope to in this situation. Location does not affect a vow

  14. Anonymous says:

    My husband is bipolar and has left me. I believe he is in a manic state but he is not a loving affectionate person any time.how can I fight for my marriage if he has left? We aren’t divorced.

  15. E. J. M. says:

    In my son’s marriage everything is different. It has been very sad to see my son change in the way that he has over their 12 years together as She has the upper hand in everything. Too too lengthy to go in to, but he has treated her well and like a Queen and she’s been harsh, know it all, and has demasculated him. She is not a good wife or mother. Your book would prob not do him any good.

    • There are certainly bitter women that live with good men. You may want to check out this article:

      http://hittinghomeministry.com/is-it-always-the-mans-fault-in-a-marriage/

      Thank you,

      Dr. Force

      • JA says:

        I just found this site and haven’t done a lot of reading yet but it seems to put the emphasis on men as the ones that need to change. Seems unbalanced. Most of the time men seem to be hard on men and afraid to write to women but like you said, there are plenty of women that are also needing change. I know I have lots of area of growth but I think something is wrong when my wife is constantly sending me these articles about how I should be better. Is that what scripture is for? So we can tell others what they are doing wrong. I see it first as something for my personal growth. It makes a challenging journey more difficult and frustrating. How about some encouragement on what we are doing right. I’ve read A LOT of what’s out there and there is an imbalance out there. Men have done a lot of wrong and need lots of change and I think much of the time men who write these articles are writing out of guilt, fear of stepping on women’s toes or trying to look religiously [politically] correct. I love to hear correcting messages and look for change in my life but I find some people annoying when I sense in equality. Neither women nor men are going to be able to blame the other for their actions. Why even suggest that with some of these titles.

        • Aimee says:

          The irritation you feel when your wife shares articles with you is from a wounded ego. It is time to put your pride aside & see her sharing for what it is… Her attempt to communicate her needs in a non-confrontational way.
          Is it possible that your pride has made it difficult for her to speak to you about her needs directly?
          Marriage has no room for one’s own pride. Trying reading the articles, letting your wife know that you are hearing her, & then letting her know that her constant sharing of said articles makes you feel like she does not see your efforts only your shortcomings. This kind of honest, loving communication is what makes a relationship strong.
          Good luck & God bless.

        • Donna says:

          You know after being married to a very negative man for 24 yrs, working for 18 of those yrs to fix myself to make him happy which doesn’t work bc what makes him happy today is not good enough when you change, if a man truly cherished his wife, there’s not one thing in this world she would not do for him happily.

        • Donna says:

          There’s only one answer to your issue, truly love & cherish your wife. Simple but seems difficult for most men. There’s nothing in this world a woman wouldn’t happily do for a man that loved & cherished her. Cherish comes from a deep love in your heart that is manifested through words actions and attitudes flowing out of that heart of great love. It displays kindness, compassion, integrity, goodness & self control all wrapped in gentleness.

    • Ethan Allen says:

      Certainly I can understand that it sometimes seems pastors, authors, and counselors are tough on men. But I believe God gave us men the accountability, authority, and strength. Therefore it is right for us to be the first focus when there are relationship problems. Now I am remarried, functional, leading, & healthy, but along the way I’ve MANY times listened to my strong, Biblical pastor preach it is the man’s responsibility. It is. My ex-wife had the affair, failed to respect me, filed the papers, refused to finish working together, divorced also her 2nd husband, … STILL I accept it is & was my responsibility to love sacrificially, nurture my wife & kids, be the priest of my home …

  16. TRACY says:

    Ive been married for 30 years. I have always felt I was a burden more than a wife. A year and a half ago, I found out my Husband had been cheating on me. I have fealt it for along time. I always felt like an obligation to him. I have NEVER felt love from him. Last year he told me he NEVER loved me, I was an obligation. He was in love with his 1st love. My life was shattered in a second. All that I have felt was true. Yet I LOVE him with all my heart!! I chose to forgive him. I dont know why hes here if he dont love me. Im depressed all the time. Never good enough!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Trust in God and always put Him first sister He will not fail you

    • Anonymous says:

      YOU are good enough! Never let Satan tell you different!

    • Heather says:

      I have a similar marriage. My husband has never been able to love me because he has given himself over to the lies and deception and rebellion that has robbed him of everything good. But God has used my circumstances just as he promised for my good. I can honestly say He is more to me than ten loving earthly husbands could ever be. My husband doesn’t want a relationship with God but I pray for him always. It is my prayers and His presence through me that are truly his only hope. I am salt and light to him. He is miserable ninety percent of the time. I choose joy. I have to live my life and he must live his. I have no natural love for him. If I do not sin myself and keep my mind and desires pure, God is faithful to give me supernatural love for this man and peace that truly is not based on my circumstances. I pray that you will discover Jesus really is enough for you and prayer is absolutely essential! In His love. Heather

    • Latisha Perry says:

      Be encouraged you will find someine that wants to love you and is willing to be faithful to you and the intimacy of your heart. Good men a hard to find. But then.know this as I am also finding out relationships take a lot of work praying humbling ourselves even though we are not wrong all the time. So be encouraged. And know you are special..you will be availuable asset to your next husband and he will appreciate you for you..God bless you…

      • Donna says:

        Hint; don’t even start thinking about another husband or man until you have divorced and healed yourself. You can’t love another if you don’t love yourself. You need to be happy and content with you and become strong in the Lord above all else.

    • sonia says:

      I understand my husband has not confessed yo cheating although deep in my heart I feel he has I will not keep being verbal abused and u shouldn’t either a marriage is suppose to be secret and loving and happy not stressful we both deserve better

    • Denise says:

      Wow…sounds familiar. Email me some time. Always praying !

    • Denise says:

      Tracy…I’m in a similar situation…always praying.

  17. P lange says:

    We have been married for 40 years. My husband told me 5 years in our marriage he asked my sister 1st to go with him she said no. Later he ask me out and later we got married. This was within 6 months all of it. I didn’t know this till 7 years later. 2 years ago we had a gathering of good times and he said something that he loves about her and laughing there family told him u chose the other sister this is ours for some reason I can’t let it go. I truly believe he chided her and I was just the stand by. Later we married and he cried right after our vows and still don’t no y. But in our marriage he is all ways gone trucker and I’m the do all wife he comes in to tv and that’s it clothes gets done and he is gone. I seemed to can’t get passed it. I feel like his heart is truly not my I’m 2 in everything. He has no respect for me or our kids or grand kids. I’m the 2 choice and the last to know. It’s like he keeps his trucker life top secret down to his phone everything his deleted. Hurt

    • LB says:

      Many people think the “grass is always greener on the other side” but don’t realize how much they love and need the person they are with. His distance and dissatisfaction is within himself and not about you at all. If you weren’t there for him, he would notice and realize what he has.

    • Trucker Wife says:

      I too have a trucker husband and can relate to EVERYTHING you are saying especially the respect part I have never really had that from him. I dont understand why I keep hoping and praying for him to change. God has brought me through some really tough times with my marriage sadly only 2 yrs in I feel like any moment he will just walk away I live in fear of this daily.

  18. Anonymous says:

    I have a husband that 95% of the time, he is negative in every conversation which is draining me mentality, physically and spirituality. He is very controlling and I feel I’m being smoothered. He has a say in everything that I do which is always negative. I don’t have friends by choice because he always has a problem with them. He wants me all to himself and it’s sickening. This is not love and I wish he would see that. My feel like I’m in jail. This is no way to live. Would this book help?

    • angel says:

      I am in the same boat. I have been dealing with his negativity for 15+ years. I am looking into leaving as his negativity has placed heavy burdens on our children.

    • J. Nic says:

      This sounds like a very damaging relationship that you need out of. That kind of isolation is not healthy for anyone. I would seek some counseling or help asap.

    • Keitriscyia says:

      Stop looking for a book to help you! No disrespect to the author. But you have every answer within you! Stop looking for outside answers to problems going on within!

      • Your answer sounds very super-spiritual, but it has one fatal flaw: your answer is absolutely unbiblical.

        Ephesians 4:11 – And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;

        Proverbs 11:14 – Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety.

        Thank you,

        Dr. Force

    • Tanja says:

      I’m sorry that you or anyone else is living with a husband you described. I get punished mentally and emotionally when I tell my husband something he doesn’t like. Also his younger daughter told me few times now that I’m not good enough for her father. It is truly like a nightmare to be in this kind of relationship. My husband also has some groups on fb where he is talking about God while flirting with single women saying lies about me… I am with Lords help working on my health that I’ve been struggling with for the past almost 5 years

    • Jodi says:

      I am in the totally opposite situation. My boyfriend has not emotions when it comes to what I do. He doesn’t mind that I leave, he will not call to see if Im ok…I can be gone for hours!!! That seems nice but it is lonely when I am hurting from not feeling loved because he cares about nothing when it comes to me. I can be in the bedroom for hours and he will not speak or come in the room until I walk out to were he is. Then he will ask what I was doing. The effort is not there and I feel lonely. Then when I tell him Im lonely he says I have a problem with everything he does. I then get angry. I am not married and have been with him for 4 years and think maybe it is just time to leave. I feel he is a good guy as far as financially he is responsible, he doesn’t hit on me and I believe I have not left for that reason and I do love him. I just don’t feel like the feeling is mutual. He was in a 20 year marriage and she cheated and left. They have been divorced 8 years but I think he still has a major guard up for love. I need advice!

      • Cheryl says:

        My husband and I have been married 28 years and over the last 6 I have been struggling with CHF and often on oxygen and too weak to get out of bed for ant lengthy period. But God is so faithful and has used this time for me to “be still and Know He is God”. He has taught me much during this time. My husband, on the other hand, chose to not be there for the most part of these last 6 years. Then a year ago this Seotember, he left for a week to go looking for a job out of town. When he came back, he did exactly what you described your husband of doing~ the erasing all texts, phone history, web history and would always keep his phone on silent. That was a little over a year ago now and continued to happen up until the last few months. He admits now there was another woman/ women. I should mention that I asked him to leave in January of this year for I simply could not take the pain anymore while fighting for my life. God has healed me physically much by having me eat very natural and specific foods. I know He is going to heal me 100% in His time. In June of this year He had me start warring for my marriage and God has done amazing miracles in my husband’s heart as well as my own. My only advice to u is seek God with all all all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. He WILL make your path straight and tell u how u need to pray. I’m not going to tell u to stay in your marriage, neither will I tell u to leave. God knows all. Trust Him. He loves you like no man ever could. Jeremiah 31:3 I will keep u in my prayers dear sister.
        P.S. this book looks amazing and what is here to read is exactly what my husband is now doing. He is cherishing me. Loving me beyond how he ever has, even beyond good years we shared while our children were young. God has softened His heart and giving him eyes only for me.
        Much love in Christ, Cheryl

      • Anonymous says:

        RUN!!! If y’all aren’t married and he’s not serving you then R-U-N! Besides that y’all are liv

      • D Haas says:

        Most men are clueless to our needs. Being divorced probably makes him keep some distance, but you need to learn to be honest and clear with your needs and you might benefit from The 5 love languages. Learn with each other how you understand love giving and received. How can you love him so he understands it or do you know what looks like love and are able to share that with him. Sounds like you have different needs. Nothing wrong with that until you don’t understand your needs and his. Start there and see what happens. The least is you learn about your own needs and how you see love best.

      • Trish says:

        Hey Jodi,
        Are you a Christian? Do you have a church family?
        Some people haven’t been taught or don’t know that marriage is sacred, and that living with someone is very damaging to everyone. God calls it sin, because it misses His intention , using something or someone in a wrong way. It’s out of God’s design and order of sexuality and romance. It causes grief all around. Sometimes, people like your current bf get hurt and fall into relationships that aren’t in Gods will. It’s not too late to turn to God and some people who follow Him to help get you on track, even if your bf is in sin.
        If you are, God has much better in store for you than to live ignored.
        I know how that feels, my first husband was like this, and it is not God’s intention for marriage.
        Thinking and pray about a way to get on your own. I pray you find support around you to get your life going in a direction of joy.
        You haven’t married him, so you have freedom to leave. You do the right thing for you, and move out. I know its not easy often because of bills,, and rent and other things. I pray God makes a way. Blessings.

    • BT says:

      Wow. I truly understand where you are coming from. My husband has separated me from all friends. Distanced me from family. My relationships with my children is not what it used to be. I used to be confident & strong. He tells me how to dress & wear my hair. He tries to use the Word to get his way & condemn me & tells me I’m disrespectful & rebellious when I resist what he says. He continuously asks me about other people, although I am so sick that sex is difficult with him. (Also he is unemployed now so he’s home all the time & knows where I am 24/7). I have gained about 50lbs in the 1 year we’ve been married. He recently walked out on us & is now angry & accusing me even more because I won’t ask, invite, or accept him back. I feel so much lighter. I feel free & alive. Please don’t let this man destroy you. He is insecure & afraid & probably a misogynist. You are in my prayers

  19. Loving Husband says:

    Both took those vows in front of God and others. It takes two. Both should recognize their own faults and work on that, not point fingers at one another.

    • Terri says:

      Unless the person decides to look at themselves and can recognize their personal role in the situation, this will never happen. I know. I’ve been there.

  20. Johnny says:

    Option 3 does not work with a person who does not know how to tell you what they want. Using words like should, could, anything, always, and forever provide no help for a husband who sets boundries proportioned with love. J

    • S says:

      Option 3 suggests that you continue to ask questions and seek to understand what your spouse needs and how she feels until she feels heard and understood. That takes a lot of effort, but it communicates love to someone who may not be able to easily tell you what they want or need.

    • Name on His Hand says:

      Don’t give up! Keep trying!

  21. Donna Jamieson says:

    God’s Word says that a man must be willing to die for his wife… There are not many men, leading in a biblical manner, let alone willing to die for their wives.
    If a man was willing to die for his wife she would absolutley respect him. The problem seems to come in when a man does not fulfill his role of authority in the home. If a man neglects this biblical command, then naturally a woman needs to step into his position to fulfill this role.
    I do not take any stand against men, or women… But it is the role of the man to be the head of the house. Having said that…woman are commanded to respect their husbands even if their husbands are not loving, or sacrificial. The sad thing is one spouse is waiting for the other spouse to treat them in such a way that then they have earned the proper response… That is not biblica. Our relationship is with God first, then the husband! The Bible clearly teaches that a woman should live in such a way as to cause her husband to want to follow the Lord… That’s a pretty heavy responsibility, we need a very solid relationship with Christ in order to do this! Instead of looking to our husbands, we should be looking to the Lord God Himself to meet our needs! His grace is sufficient..! Cry out to God for His strength and grace as David shows us in the Psalms!
    May the Lord God bless all of your marriages, may they operate as he intended them too!

    • Nic says:

      Beautifu response and I agree with you. This is where I have been failing. I have been putting all of my faith and energy into my husband when I need to be doing that for the Lord.

      • Anonymous says:

        I have done the same, thank you for your post.

        • Grace says:

          I totally can relate. Been married for 16 years and we have 2 kids. My husband hasn’t been the spiritual leader and he’s always too tired to play with kids etc. it’s very sad and frustrating to be living with him. I am praying to God to give me the wisdom to change and accept what cannot be changed. I have felt Stonger but it’s not easy.

      • Anonymous says:

        Me too! Very well said!

    • Denise says:

      That was the perfect response!

    • Anonymous says:

      I so agree with you. There is no perfect husband I so agree cry out to the Lord for help start with your self let God take control of your marriage. I’ve been married for 19 years my husband is a God fearing man he is not perfect but trys I’m not on him I trust the Lord he used to not serve God but in time as I left him in God hand prayed to God to change me God took care of everything . So God is faithful we have a happy blessed marriage.

  22. Anonymous says:

    No offense to the advice and counsel that you are sharing through your ministry BUT the YouTube video above outlining the way men and women fight assumes that ALL women are emotional and ALL men are logical. I’m a woman and I’m the one who arms myself with logic, facts and reason. My husband is the emotional one. He is a very manly man and I’m a very feminine lady. Much of our traits and the way we relate to each other truly depends on personality type not gender.

    • You must not have watched the video all the way through because we address this matter in the video. Also, we clearly deal with the idea of a role reversal in our book in chapter 4.

      Thank you,

      Dr. Force

    • Anonymous says:

      I’m a woman and I’m logical I am also emotional and will not apologize for that. I approach most things logical because I’m a problem solver and will get emotional when I’m degraded, attacked and critisized for my logical thinking because it doesn’t mesh with a man’s emotion . . . biggest barrier gratification . . . the speed at which one seeks it. I’ll work, plan and wait while if my husband wants it he just thinks he should get it without any thought, planning or logic behind it.

  23. hurting says:

    My husband and I have been married 23 yrs. He was such a caring person while dating,but he is bitter and hateful now,he stepped out and was caught with a prostitute which turned out to be an undercover coo when we were married 18 yrs. I forgave him,and was told we would never discuss it again. I wasn’t allowed to communicate my feelings it was a dropped subject. We have a daughter who doesn’t know what’s ever happened. She is now 16 and to get her way she gets us into it ,he gives her what she wants and blames me for everything that goes wrong. I love my family and I know that it’s wrong to leave but I’m so tired of being verbally abused .he never says I love you, never has a kind word and because of health issues I can’t work but because we are married and he makes so much I can’t get disability, he’s constantly reminding me that he’s the one working and that it’s his money.he used to be in church but has gotten out and doing his same ole stuff again. I’m tired of being the nice person that’s always hurt in the end. I don’t know there’s anyone else but I feel it. I’m just tired of being hurt. I pray and pray and pray but I’m @ my witts end.he is so mean and hateful with his words,he even lets our daughter be mean and hateful, he says my parents were to strict and he don’t wanna be like them,I think they were fine parents.just need prayers and guidance.

    • I would recommend you first read this article:

      http://hittinghomeministry.com/husband-is-mean/

      Let me know your thought?

      Dr. Force

    • Anonymous says:

      I am in your shoes only been married ten years. Otherwise it was like you and i are in the same marriage. It hurts awful.

    • Angela Howard says:

      Omg! I’m so sorry about your marriage, daughter, and feelings. I’m praying for you that God gives you the answers you seek and mends your broken heart. I too am in a marriage that I want out of but I’ve been trying to hold on and do the right things. Good Bless you. I pray things get better for you.

    • Nicole says:

      He’s that way because he was still cheating imo.

    • sonia says:

      My hubby likes to drink wen I meet him we knew each other a month then got married I realize it was to soon we didn’t know each other well enough now he is verbal abusive wen he drinks he’s up and down in moods he seem to be bipolar he complains of everything we have a 1 yr old and he always cause me of not doing things right wrn it come to the baby then its sad we been married three

  24. sweet says:

    I love all your answers! they have helped a lot! but how do you deal with a husband who is a good man but when he looses his temper he becomes very hurtful and verbally abusive! and I mean horrible words! I do what I think God would do, I forgive and go on, but I never forget the insults and words he uses…. other than that he is a good man. Am I doing the right thing by forgiving and not say a word? we are married 30 years! Need an answer! thanks!!

    • Jill says:

      I was married to a man who was verbally abusive and a bully. I am no expert but I can tell you what helped me. We got marriage counseling but he only went once. He became so angry he refused to participate and said he would not come back. But the counselor encouraged me to keep coming so I did. I learned a lot about how to respond in a biblical fashion to him. Yes you should forgive but no you should not simply say nothing about his sinful behavior towards you. BUT this should be done humbly and gently and sometimes at a time when he isn’t angry. Not always right in the moment when they’re railing like a madman. Pray much for him and yourself. It is not a guarantee that he will be humbled and repent or a guarantee that your marriage will survive. But what is of most importance is your relationship with Jesus. Do your best to trust and obey Jesus. Then you will have peace no matter what your husband does. At some point your husband will either be convicted and want what you have or he will be so tormented and bothered by your godly behavior that he may leave. This may not be your goal but as Paul said be at peace and let the unbeliever depart. You are not bound in such circumstances.

      Find a good counselor and go even if your husband won’t. You need a support network of godly women around you as well. Not a bunch of women who slam on their husbands and yours but godly women who love Jesus but supportive when you are dealing with rough things and wise enough to point you to help if you are in a dangerous situation.

      • Anonymous says:

        I was so touched by what you just said here that towards the end your writing my eyes started welling up with tears.Everything I did except going to counselor. What helped me heal from a very unhappy marriage was my renewed relationship with God, Jesus. If you have Jesus, you have no need for anything. Thanks
        Maria fe

      • Sandra says:

        Amen. My 23 year marriage is falling apart. He told me at the end of November that he wants out of our marriage. Since than I been finding out a lot of unhappy stuff. I ritual I started is to pray on a daily basis. Some days I pray many many times. I also go to counseling. I just don’t understand. I was always a loving loyal respectful and hard working wife and mother and all I ever wanted was to make my husband happy and to be lived by him. Now the only way it seems I can make him happy is by giving him a divorce. And he wants it yesterday.

  25. Dee says:

    My husband is a good man but one who is inherently selfish and does not know how to show love. I have dealt with it for 20 years allowing him to take me for granted but believing that he loves me deep down but just does not know how to communicate it. But 20 plus years later I can see the bitterness sprouting, he never says I love you, he never takes time just to hang out like we used too, it is always a hassle to get him to do things with the kids, he never has time for anyone or anything other than his work and things he wants to do. He does not meet my emotional needs and we all work so hard I leave before he wakes up in the morning and he comes back after I have gone to sleep at night. We no longer share any experiences other than we live in the same house. We don’t even eat meals together. He does not seem to have any desire to spend time together. Whenever I try to raise the issue the standard response is that he is working hard to provide for the family which indeed he is, however I think he works so hard because his faith and comfort lie in how much money he can save in the bank. He is continually complaining about how much money we spend yet never wants to make any decisions on where to cut in our budget. I work full time and provide for any of my personal or frivolous needs myself and never ask him for anything for myself and yet it never even occurs to him to do something nice for his wife does not have to cost much even pick wild flowers from the field on the way home it’s the thought that counts. I feel bitter and under appreciated and his kids are just used to living without his presence and he is oblivious to any of these issues.

    • Confused says:

      I feel your pain sister

    • Anonymous says:

      I feel your pain. The first five years of my marriage were very difficult. I wanted so badly for things to change, to a point of total frustration, and I was about to give up. I finally gave my husband to God through total surrender! I realized only HE could change him. I just kept praying and trusting. I can now say that our marriage has completely transformed! He miraculously agreed to finally go to counseling and she has been a gift from God. So many small miracles, I cant even count. God is faithful, don’t give up.

  26. Trish Cooper says:

    My husband won’t go to church and I rarely see him in his word. He expects me to follow his lead as the head of the house but doesn’t follow Christ as I believe the bible is asking him to. He spends money as he pleases and get upset if I buy anything that’s not in my “grocery shopping or gas” limit. What steps can I take to make him realize that this is fair nor right especially cause he’s not in church?

  27. I DID says:

    Its directed at the husbands because we have to LEAD. We gave up our LIVES when we said I DO…..We are basically saying that we would DIE for our wives…..we have to realize this instead of just looking forward to the honeymoon.

  28. Dawn says:

    I think this it is talking to the husband this way because the wife was behaving as she should and was still neglected.
    Otherwise, it would make no sense to place responsibility solely on the husband.

  29. cd7 says:

    Hello ,
    the article is about husband’s and directed specifically toward husband’s so why is everyone so upset about it not talking about wives?
    That wasn’t the subject I would hardly call a article on a specific subject blaming the other spouse I didn’t get that from the article at all.
    I think people are capable of reading it and applying it to themselves without it being pointed at them.

    • JA says:

      Most of what I’ve come across are pointed at husbands. We have lots to improve on but how much do you see on this site or out there on wives?

  30. Balance says:

    This is very true in a since if the wife didn’t come already with her own weeds she never gave any real attention to before she got married. You talk about husbands but u are very one sided with your article. What about the wife having a responsibility to her husband. In loving him to the degree the bible says. Wives submitted/honor your own husbands. But because if her weeds of distrust, rejection, bitterness, anger she can’t and doesnt. Your position would be totally correct if she the wide was already doing all she should have been doing. It’s a shame but a lot are not wil not even take responsibility for her own actions but will keep blaming him. It takes 2 to mess up a marriage.

    • There are 172 pages in our marriage book. The article gives 3/4 of one of those pages. Our other 171 pages certainly deal with a woman’s responsibility. You happen to simply be reading one excerpt that is accentuating the responsibilities of a husband.

      Keep in mind that in a 300 to 500 word blog post, we will not deal with all angles of a situation nor provide every exception and/or disclaimer.

      Thank you,

      Hitting Home

      • Transgressor says:

        Womanly respect is a catalyst for manly love. Without the wife’s respect, the husband’s action of love is one sided, resulting in a 50/50 chance of survival.

        • “Womanly respect is a catalyst for manly love.”

          I respond in love, but nothing can be further from Biblical truth. If this is the case, then the woman actually plays the man in the relationship as it is her respect that becomes the foundation for success.

          Christ did not come and redeem a respectful church. He gave Himself for an unbelieving people that were living in a disrespectful manner to His ways. It was Christ’s love that inspired our respect toward Him.

          We all see in part, and we are all attempting to hit the nail on the head, but I would have to disagree with your post. You may do well to read my article called The 6 Paradoxes of Marriage for Men.

          Dr. Force

          • Anonymous says:

            So tired of men who expect to be “head of the home”, but base all their actions on the wife’s behavior. Have you any self discipline of your own? Man up. Do what God tells you to do because it’s right , not because you think you deserve a reward.

    • Mrs. Wiseman says:

      It take 3 to fix it. Each take their own faults to God and work on themselves. Not one sided, as the head, husband shoulders ultimate responsibility. BUT I am sure there is equal info on this teaching about the wife’s duties and responsibilities to the marriage. Each should also lift spouse up to God in prayer as He is the other member in marriage. The vows are spoken to God about your spouse so it makes sense to tell him where your spouse is weak and He will make the strong. A 3-fold cord is not easily broken.

    • Santa says:

      I would say both of you are right but many men have their own unique desire of what a marriage is.. it was told to me to submit to my husband and I did.. what he did in the relationship I forgave but he couldn’t continue with our marriage because of his guilt.. I moved on.. I felt ashamed as a wife and unwanted.. then my second husband came and I tried to understand what he was going through( dealing with my insecurities).. that baggage became the evil in my marriage!!! But it stemmed from my 1 husband.. so women are brought to a point where we can’t forget what happen. We don’t wanna have to be torn down like that again.. that’s just my take on this!

    • Holly says:

      Since the first humans, the Blame Game has been going on. “The woman You gave me…”, so it is our human tendency to Blame one another for our problems, even in a marriage. But there is something that is different in this relationship, and that is Kingdom Order. The man is commanded to “love his wife”, but I have searched the scriptures, the woman is never commanded to love her husband. I think this is because wives intrinsically do. Submission is another issue, a choice. But women are responders. They respond to their leadership. Men are supposed to be our head, our leader, with God as your head. Responsibility falls more so on the one in leadership because of the great responsibility God has placed in this position of spiritual headship.

      • You wrote:

        “but I have searched the scriptures, the woman is never commanded to love her husband.”

        You searching must not have included Titus 2:3-4 which states:

        “The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,”

        Dr. Force

      • JA says:

        When the scriptures say to “love”, was that just to the men? Was that just for wives to love everyone excluding their husband but including their enemies? Slow down, Holly.

        You’re right, men have a lot of responsibility and have done lots of harm. Focus on yours. Philippians talk about esteeming others more highly than ourselves. Let us all reflect humility.

  31. mandie says:

    My husband and I have been together for twenty years, married for twelve of them. We were very young when we met and we were very far away from God. We were wild and recklesss with each other, making poor choices which resulted in an abortion before we got married. Three years into our marriage God found me in the bottom of a pit and gracefully and mercifully rescued me. I’m so thankful, however now dealing with the result of being unequally yoked. We now have two children, ages seven and nine and we are so far apart from each other. My mom was a strong military wife and often played both roles as parent when my dad was deployed so I grew up watching her be very much in control and emasculate my dad. This mindset has continued and I am desperately fighting against the Jezzebel spirit in me. My husband can’t lead if I won’t let him, and he is stubborn and hurt and angry beyond belief. He has withheld affection and love which has caused me to with hold respect for him. I’m so lonely and sad and have been in my prayer closet for so long I’m wondering if God even hears me. Im at threshold of just emotionally giving up and staying together for the children. I am seeking HEALING for my past sexual immorality because I now understand how that influenced us a couple. He seems unwilling to attend any counseling with me, and almost like he doesn’t view anything is even wrong. Please help me shine the light so God can change his heart. Please help me be a submissive life speaking wife without being a doormat. Please help me not carry unforgivingness in my heart and let bitter roots grow. I know Satan would rather have me angry at my husband so I can’t pray for him. This has been going on for seven years, and I’m so tired and weary.. Tjhanks

    • Ya says:

      I know it can be draining. Your life sounds so much like mine was as a married woman. We chose tof go the route of divorce. Huge mistake. If you can salvage your marriage, do whatever it takes. Don’t stay together for the kids, stay because of the commitment you made to God. Find a way to break the bonds of your past and do not emasculate your husband anymore, like I did mine. Divorce is so painful for all involved and so damaging to your kids. You’ll also damage them if you stay only for them and give up. You will eventually reach a point where the door opens to infidelity because he needs to feel like a man. I know how painful it is when he withholds affection. But it is good that you understand the root cause of that. Just don’t give up. Fight for your family.

  32. Leslie says:

    I’ve been married for 9 years and me and my husband are 15 years apart, when I meet him I already had two children from a previous relationship of 16 years not married, he was 19 and I was 35 I know bad decision on my part but something just clicked between me and him and right away he told me that he was going to marry me and I was going to be his wife, of course I didn’t pay it no mind but I got pregnant and 8 months later we got married, since then every year he’s asked me for a divorce and I prayed to God and we always ended up staying together we are both saved but don’t attend church as much, now we bought a house and the divorce issue has came up again, he told me that he doesn’t love me and hasn’t for awhile but stayed cause of the kids and I wanted him to stay, he’s very selfish person doesn’t show our kids any kind of love or affection cause he says he didn’t get it growing up, I have 3 boys with him plus my other 2, he’s cheated on me several times and I’ve taken him back now he’s getting out of the military cause he is sick but I don’t understand how can a person be with someone for so long and fake it for so long, I love him dearly but he says he’s going to let me know if he wants the divorce or not by the end of this year, he said he wants to observe me to see how I treat him and show him my love but I’m hurting so much cause he’s all about himself and his needs, he didn’t even think our last child was his and wanted a test to see if he was his but I’ve never cheated it was always him, don’t know what to do.

  33. Carrie says:

    I am in the exact situation you described. I have been married for 25 years to my husband.I was raised on a mission field and had a very good example of what a loving husband is by watching how my dad took care of my mom and us 3 children(all girls).
    when I met my husband he was involved in church he was in his Bible daily he seemed and acted and was (is) a good Christian man. he is a wonderful provider and he loves his children but for the past 10 years he has completely turned his back on God and during that time he has become very bitter himself. I am to the point that I am just at a loss at what to do for him, for me, for my kids and for our marriage. after years of him telling me that biblically I am NOT a good wife and I am NOT doing what I’m supposed to do according to the Bible I have pretty much stepped away emotionally and physically. I moved out of our bedroom. It’s like I have a roommate. recently I found a counselor and I am going and she’s helping me to realize a lot of things about myself and about his reactions. Myquestion is how do I heal from this? How do I help him see he is the head of the house. He does nothing as a spiritual leader in our house and it is draining to me. My son and daughter see this and are seeing anaweful example. Especially my daughter. Just at a loss. There is too much to put in his question. So confused.

  34. Amanda says:

    This really hit home with me. My partner is unsaved–he’s very stubborn & defensive & he has caused weeds in his garden by being selfish & living only for himself. I have reacted out of those weeds & basically we’ve been fighting over the same issues for 6 years now. We are at a breaking point. We have 2 young sons–ages 4 & 2. I DO still love him & pray for God to change him.i see the mistakes I’ve made in leading up to this–I don’t know if he sees his part. Do you have any advice for me? And could you please pray for our situation & that he will become radically saved? Thank you. Amanda

    • Amanda,

      A couple questions:

      1. Are you married?

      2. If not, how can you expect God to bless a relationship that is out of bounds with his Word. I do not ask this in a judgmental way, but these things need to be considered as I John 3:22 states:

      “And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.”

      My concern is that you desire God’s blessings, but you are not under the protection of the marriage covenant.

      Thank you,

      Dr. Force

      • Amanda says:

        We are not legally married–we went about all of it completely wrong & now have 2 children. I know it does not line up with God’s word–& now things are so bad. Are you saying there is no hope then to salvage this relationship?

        • With God all things are possible, and, sometimes, He chooses to work in spite of our mistakes. For example, he brought Solomon out of the union of David and Bathsheba which was a relationship that started with adultery and murder, yet God crowned it with the glorious reign of Solomon.

          Jacob deceived his father, Isaac, yet God used that situation to accomplish His will.

          It should be understood, however, that many are tempting God by banking on His grace, and that is an error also as we are not to sin that grace may abound (Romans 5).

          The problem in this situation is twofold and presents a dilemma of sorts: 1. It is scriptural for a father to take care of his children 2. You are unequally yoked if you marry him

          Because of the children factor, you may need to lean toward them having a father that is active and present. And, if he is willing to enter into a marriage covenant knowing that you are a believer, then maybe Paul’s exhortation in I Corinthians 7:13 would apply when he said, “And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him.”

          You may need to do the following:

          1. Come apart with the intent of marriage
          2. Work toward marriage by getting biblically based help
          3. During that time, be sure that your children’s father is active in the parenting process

          Food for thought. Though this is not a perfect situation, God has a perfect love and grace toward those that seek Him.

          Dr. Force

  35. complicated says:

    I entered my relationship without the consent of God and definitely outside of His will. Started very well as we often do but soon after the marriage began I noticed she would resist most everything designed to prosper us like saving money or respect. She seemed angry and spoiled all the time no matter how much I spent or did for her. Difficult is an understatement and over time I became bitter and started sleeping in other rooms. Throughout the marriage she’s been caught in lies, acted bipolar and narcissistic. I drove myself crazy thinking of ways to save my marriage but now she’s filed for divorce. I have since learned that the way we respond to offense can be as powerful or more than the offense itself. Says she still loves me but doesn’t want to be married. Will occasionally ask me out and even be intimate. She’s very confusing because she’ll go from that to being so angry. I also have lots of reasons to believe she’s seeing someone else. I love her but also know you can’t make someone love you. She’s told me throughout the marriage that she doesn’t deserve me and didn’t know how I managed to put up with her. I was stunned when she told me she wanted out and for me to take the kids and everything. She’s had a very rough life and has often made really bad choices. I’m just fighting to trust God and see what the end will be…..any suggestions?

    • You wrote:

      “the way we respond to offense can be as powerful or more than the offense itself.”

      This is a very good conclusion for you to come to. I can see you are learning.

      I would encourage you to be sure that you are not basing your happiness on her actions at this time. For some reason, when you allow your spirit to be dictated by her inconsistent actions, it allows the other person to feel a sense of control that they are not willing to release.

      I would greatly encourage you to read the first chapter of our marriage book, How to Fight for Your Marriage Without Fighting with One Another, along with chapter 6. You will find it to be greatly beneficial.

      Thank you,

      Dr. Force

  36. Nancy Fuentes says:

    Hello, im a wife and I agree with Dr. Raymond, because my marriage is about to end, because my husband become all of the opposite the bible said a husband should be, I know that divorce is not what God wants, but what is better to leave with someone that said he loves God, and he’s first than anything, but at home is totally another person, or leave alone, and don’t feel hypocrite feeling that you are a lier because of the way you are leaving? I dont think God want us to leave frustrating, or unhappy, what do you think? Hope I can get your response, thanks may God Bless you!!! Nancy. …

    • Nancy,

      Thank you for your question. Would you mind clarifying your question?

      Thank you,

      Dr. Force

    • Janicer Barron says:

      Hello
      Our marriage is failing I will love to get this book for my husband because he needs spiritual guidance from a male point of view, unfortunately I’m not in a position to do so right now. My question is how do you get your husband to take care of the garden. Once my husband is upset and we separate he has a tendency of neglecting his family in all ways. The bad thing about this is we have 6 children and due to a horrible car accident I’m not able to work right now. Therefore leaving him as the sole provider of the family, but when he leaves he leaves us with nothing along with other things that has taken place. The part that hurts tremendously is how he always do this then expect for things to stay the same…I have always worked and supported my family since I have an open case right now fighting for my disability I’m not able….

      I really don’t want to walk out of our marriage but I don’t feel the genuine, loyalty and respect this family deserve. 8m at the point of wanting out of this marriage.

  37. wamuwi changani says:

    Thank you so much for the message. What is important to me is to have peace in the home. We have been called to peace and when a spouse cannot commit to mutual peace I think it’s time to move on. We are all adults.

  38. John says:

    My wife wants to define love for her ultimately as obedience to her, though she denies that wording. I love her but can’t agree to everything. How to die to self without compromising the gospel or abrogating to female headship.

    • John,

      You will not win this battle in the way you are fighting it. You may want to read our article about this subject. It is at: http://hittinghomeministry.com/fix-your-marriage/

      If you really want her to lay down her arms, you will only accomplish this through sacrificial service. Trying to get her to see this from an intellectual standpoint at this time is futile. If you don’t agree with this approach now, please shoot me an email after about 10 years of trying it your way to validate my point.

      I am not attempting to be argumentative, but I have had this conversation a gazillion times with men, and, there are times that I have to be very straightforward in order to save them a lifetime of frustration.

      You may be right in what you are perceiving, but you will have to be wise in how you move your marriage to the next level.

      Also, sometimes love does look like obedience to another person. In other words, if you read John 13 and Matthew 20:28, you will find that Christ took on the form of a servant, yet He was still the Sovereign Ruler of the universe. Sometimes, the way to gain respect is to earn it with humility.

      Thank you,

      Dr. Force
      http://www.Shop.HittingHomeMinistry.com

  39. John D. Black says:

    Is it possible for a husband to love his wife selflessly and sacrificially and yet his “garden” have weeds? What is the difference between a wife “feeling loved” and her being the head?

    • John,

      It is possible. Keep in mind that when trying to address the masses, there are exceptions that are sometimes difficult to address in every article.

      Even the Bible makes general statements without always addressing the exceptions. In Ephesians 5:28, the scriptures tell us that if a man loves wife, he loves himself. The idea is what he gives, he usually gets back, but, of course, there are situations where this does not occur. And, the scriptures do not go out of their way to address these potential exceptions.

      I am not so sure I understand your second question. Maybe you could clarify?

      Thanks,

      Dr. Force
      http://www.Shop.HittingHomeMinistry.com

      • Frustrated and discouraged husband says:

        I agree with your response. My wife thinks “if I, the husband do right…then she the wife will do right” as if the outcome is guaranteed. The master husbandman never did wrong why did his bride turn away at the first garden then his nation [bride] keep going to adultery? I am trying as a husband but I truly find it discouraging when I my wife seems preoccupied with highlighting my faults. I am not a bible scholar but it seems to point us to humility and esteeming others more highly than ourselves. It seems to say that we cannot blame others for our actions and that we ought to do what is right even to the extent of loving our enemies. And I am no way saying to ignore the message to the husbands. That is a separate issue and there’s much to discuss there. What if God told her, He will stop showing her favor until she stops messing up. I thought it is loving kindness that leads us to change. Need encouragement! How about this little scripture: 1Pet 3-1 In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, 2as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior. 3Your adornment must not be merely external—braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; 4but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God. 5For in this way in former times the holy women also, who hoped in God, used to adorn themselves, being submissive to their own husbands; 6just as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, and you have become her children if you do what is right without being frightened by any fear.
        7You husbands in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with someone weaker, since she is a woman; and show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered.

        8To sum up, all of you be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit; 9not returning evil for evil or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead; for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing.

    • libl says:

      Another exception would be a husband who doesn’t tend the garden but because he is married to a godly woman, she works very hard to keep those weeds which naturally grow down. Unfortunately, the effect this tends to have is that because he doesn’t experience the fullness of the negative consequences of his actions, he is enabled and gets away with being a jerk. I can’t tell you how many wives I know married to bad husbands who have been told it isn’t bad enough to leave and they should just change their attitudes, submission, expectations, etc.

      • BDR says:

        I would love to see the Dr’s reply to this. First, I have a good husband. I want to clarify that. I am loved and safe, secure and we get along fine. BUT… before our marriage he would attend Mass with me and agreed to find a home church once we married and I moved in with him. I made it very clear how important worship and fellowship of a church are to me and could swear he agreed. All it took was one time of saying, ‘Oh, you’re tired? Get some rest, I can go by myself.’ And he won’t go with me any more. He has to complete the annulment process before I can be in full communion with the church and fully participate in the Mass, he has drug the submission process out two years so far. He is not Catholic but agreed to this before we married. He is CRC and I have made it clear that my goal is to worship with him, at a church of his choosing if he’s uncomfortable with a Mass. No luck. I ask him about it around once a quarter, to check the progress and it usually ends in an argument. I refuse to be the angry one, bitter and disrespectful, but it is getting somewhat more difficult. I’m at a loss…

        • “He has to complete the annulment process before I can be in full communion with the church and fully participate in the Mass, he has drug the submission process out two years so far. ”

          Could you let me know what you mean by this?

          Thank you,

          Dr. Force

          • Shellie says:

            I do belive that in the Catholic Church, if you get married, especially if you’re spouse is not Catholic, they have to convert to Catholicism. And until that happens the other spouse is denied full participation in Mass and other church “rituals” (for lack of better terms). That is my understanding of it, from the way my parents have explained it to me. My Grandmother had to completely convert to Catholicism before she was even able to marry my Grandfather many moons ago.

      • Anonymous says:

        I have this problem and am ready to give up because he is becoming unbearable

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