A Husband has 1 of 3 Choices


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.

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?

– Dr. Force


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Posted in Issues Relating to Husbands

269 comments on “A Husband has 1 of 3 Choices
  1. Randy says:

    People are forgetting option 4. Buy your produce at the market and forget gardening.

  2. Tina says:

    What about an emotionally abusive marriage?

    • D says:

      Agrred. That was where I was. Not something one should just allow to continue. I did, and it almost destroyed who I was.

  3. Cee Cee says:

    As a wife you have hit the nail right on the head. I am going to try to buy this book if I can get some extra money. I read this article and Controlling Your Spouse Through Emotions and both of them were on point as far as what I am dealing with with my husband.

  4. Anon says:

    I’m having some difficulty coming to terms with some of these topics, this one in particular. Why does it read as if 1 or 2 is chosen, it’s the husbands fault for the failing marriage? The wife has an equal obligation. She must do her part to not bring weeds into the garden as to not give opportunity for them to spread uncontrollably. At some point, it’s a lost cause. The garden is overrun. Even if you got the weeds under control by way of accepting her past behaviour, the soil is no longer fertile. The weeds have sucked every remaining nutrient needed for a garden to flourish. And you’re telling me that if he chooses 1 or 2, that he’s at fault?

    • Anonymous says:


    • Anonymous says:

      I do not think it is placing sole blame on the husband rather than being biblical in how a husband should be toward his spouse. We can’t change our spouse only ourselves, how we treat them, how we respond to them, how we make them feel and in turn hopes to cultivate a changed response in turn from them. I think it is better to say you did everything you possibly could to work on your marriage than just to say it’s too hard it’s hopeless and not try.

      • Jesus Breakfast says:

        Takes two regardless. It’s great to think a husband would bring positivity, but that’s never been my experience. If he did-he’d have his choice of extracurriculars with me-and likely his wife too.

    • Linh says:

      Leaving because you are not “happy” or in “loVe” is not an option. loVe is an action, not feeling. You must continually loVe, even if he/she denies or throws the loVe away. loVe with vulnerability, never ceasing.

    • Laura says:

      What I believe you are focussed on is “fault.” In a healthy marriage blame is a rare thing, because both husband and wife are looking inward instead of being right or pointing fingers. This is geared towards husband’s, and there are book and wrote ups that are geared towards wives. Subjects likely helping them to better serve, honor and respect their husband God has created woman to desire to do those things but sin and weakness or ignorance can distort how woman are to Love and esteem their husband. Men and women are created differently, by God’s design, to compliment strengths and make up for the others weakness. This happeneds in a healthy way when both parties choose the verb form of love and lay diwn their right to be “right.” This write up us geared towards men, giving them a practical way to view different paths in marriage and what,those choice will yeald.However, by creationss design women tend to respond to the leading of their husband.In other words, It first starts with the husband.So, When a woman feels safe and not criticized, and is wholly loved by their husband, many of the past hurts and fears can heal. Of course it takes two, and woman have a responsibility to choose love the verb.Neither one should rely on whatthe other is doing right or wrong. Loving their spouse in spite of where they are at is sacraficial love done unto God and trusting that he will bring the other person to healing and wholeness. Sacrificial love, from both husband and wife is the ultimate goal

    • Chad Moyer says:

      Not entirely true. The Lord is head of the man and man is head of his wife. As a husband, our actions, behavior, ECT spreads to the wife and then to the children. Therefore, we do pave the way for the weaker vessels. This framework doesn’t only apply to the Christian man either, it is seen even in the non-christian setting. However, when the Lord finds us or man or woman gives his/her life to the Lord, new ways of life and living begin. But, because one changes for the Lord it is their responsibility to help the counterpart, and not by beating them in the head with scripture, but by faith and walking/talking in the spirit. It seems rare for man to follow actions of the wife, but the Lord says hearken to her. If the wife is following the Lord, then it would be wise to do the same as this alone would create an amazing marriage. Because of this framework, it is simple to understand that in the beginning God created all. Therefore, we all need Jesus Christ and this also goes to prove once again that the God of Israel is the only true God and we came from Him. Therefore, ask for forgiveness for our sins and believe and He will yes save us.

    • Anonymous says:


      You need to go back and read the word again. A man sets the tone of his household his marriage hence which is why the man ask the woman to marry him. The Bible say Husbands love your wife as Jesus love the church. You see it is very simple God prepares the husband to take on a wife. What did God do when he created Adam he gave him a home which was the Garden of Eden and that job was to attend to it. And then he gave him a helpmate. It wasn’t the other way around. And God didn’t cast them out when Eve ate the apple but when Adam ate it. I hope this prospective helps. Be blessed

  5. Lindsay Overton says:

    My husband wanted me gone. He pushed and pushed and pushed until I finally left. He’s not fighting for me. This is the 3rd time and last we’ve separated and he was happy every time. He was just waiting for a divorce. I lived it. I know. There’s not a doubt in my mind about it. Instead of standing up for me, he pushed me out and did all he could to make sure I’d leave. I will never forget the feeling of having nothing and no one to turn to.

    • Tim says:

      I’m so very Sorry for you. Has it gotten any better for you?

    • Linh says:

      You can’t force others to loVe you. The only thing you can do is loVe them back, regardless. Your battle is not of flesh and bone. What you battle is what dwells in your heart

  6. 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.

    • Said and lonely says:

      My husband and I will be celebrating our 30yr marriage this year, and our garden is full of weeds and sticker Briar bushes, our soil is dry and has a lot of rocks and sticks that have fallen from a apple tree that has died a long time ago. My grandfather ask my husband to always take care of me, but he hasn’t he refusses to work and he sleeps all day everyday I ask him is something wrong, I tell him that I am going to make him a doctor’s appointment but he refusses to go, we are about ready to lose everything and he acts like he has no care in this world.but if he was to go to the garden I would be right beside him pulling weeds and getting our garden looking pretty as ever.Iam lost and so lonely in this marriage. I told him if he doesn’t have a job bye the end of March I am going to have no choice but leave.he tells me to leave all the time I do but I always come back bc I truly love him and I know that we can be that Power Couple again. Ty for letting me vent

      • May says:

        Sounds like your husband is quite depressed. It’s not just an emotional or mental issue. It starts with unbalanced brain biochemicals. It effects every aspect of your life. I pray he will get well again soon!

  7. 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.

      • Anonymous says:

        I am an alcoholic. Look into an Al-anon program in your area. Al-anon teaches self care and detachment with love.

        • Brian says:

          Celebrate Recovery is a great Christian based 12 step program.

          • Joe says:

            I second the celebrate recovery suggestion. Was part of one of their groups for a few years. Great people, great advice/help and mentorship. Having been helpd by them I’ve been off heroin for 11 years. I highly recommend them for your husband.

        • Anonymous says:

          Have you ever heard of Regeneration Recovery? It is out of Watermark church in Dallas TX, but has places all over. It is a 12 step recovery program based on the Word of God. The program is incredible! Life changing!!! I would encourage you to look them up! Blessing to you!

      • Daphne says:

        I agree with the person who suggested celebrate recovery. I went there for three years and learned a lot about my choices and things I could change in response to my husbands drinking. I think if there is any kind of physical abuse you need to leave until he shows with his actions that he is working on change. That would look actually attending some counseling sessions and ….. I don’t know. Whatever you feel like you need to be and feel safe. However. I strongly recommend getting into a support group for yourself.

      • Anonymous says:

        I second Al-Anon. I have also been to Celebrate Recovery but Al-Anon was a better fit for me, especially the women’s group because everyone there is dealing with the same stuff. It makes you a better person and I. Turn, helps you handle the alcoholism better while protecting your sanity

      • Anonymous says:

        Get out, period. I lived ur story for 17 yrs. If he gets right you won’t have to look for change, God’s beauty will surround him like angels…no one will miss it. But until then or like usual, he’s on a downward spiral & your life hangs in the balance. Get a plan, get out.

      • Richard Davis says:

        Has he ever been willing to quit drinking if so there may still be a chance if not get you and your family to a safe place I’m a 12-year recovered alcoholic I put my wife through 4years of pure hell.

      • Chad Moyer says:

        I’m sorry for your situation, but there’s always hope. I usually ask people that don’t believe in Jesus Christ, how do you know He will not save you or answer your prayers? They usually make up an excuse. The only answer I can give folks is to ask for forgiveness for our sins and believe in Jesus Christ… that He died for us. Then ask in His name that He helps your husband or wives for that matter. Believe He will do as you ask and be patient. Read the Bible folks and you will see for yourself.

    • Anonymous says:

      If the husband is abusive, you need to leave for safety. Love that person from a distance and Pray to God.

    • Katie says:

      Mỹ Husband is not an alcoholic but is physically abusive at times and every time I distance myself I turn to God for advise, All I keep hearing from him is forgive as God has forgiven you. We have all fallen short. I truly believe that God placed me in my husbands life on purpose knowing how strong i was.Knowing my husband would need an extra strong woman as his wife because he would seem a lot harder to love. It takes a strong woman to love someone who at times seems unlovable. I say seem because if we truly loved as God loves us we would see beyond the negative parts of our husbands to the beautiful people that God sees. The one who not only deserves to be loved just as much as the next guy but seems to need lots of extra because it’s obvious they are struggling with something, hence the anger. I have caught myself at times hoping for God to give me permission to leave only to hear him tell me again to forgive. Such is life.

      • Lex says:

        Wow! That is a true and brave statement! I can’t say how energizing it is for me to read it, having lived this story yet slightly differently, in that abuse is rarely recognized outside ragging husbands and dads and then with a raised eyebrow like shut up. So looking for encouragement to love your spouse or parent or kid through their mess…. especially ones they created or their situation created with out your initial involvement… yeah not so readily available and typically only with a sad look from the other person and a half hearted well I am sorry to hear about that I will pray for you and I hope it gets better, only to never here from them again. Anyway sister if you are being physically abused please consider alternatives ways to exercise love while protecting you your kids from being a punching bag. I agree that mental abuse can be as harmful in the long run , even though way less recognized and way more common across the board across all genders. So may His love aid in the gaurding of your heart against that also and may your ears hear the pain it comes from rather than how that pain manifests. The word Ezer (pronounced With the throat sound like your clearing your throat “gh-Azer”) has been misinterpreted as eve being simply a helpmate for centuries, when in reality it meant one equals man. Not the same as Man but every bit his equal. The second half of the word group along with EZER is KENEGDO. It is applicable to but I am short on time today and have already over typed. But I hope your effort is rewarded in the here and now as well as it can be. Don’t loose hope. I would say I will pray for you but that would be a lie, I won’t likely remember tomorrow but the fruit of reading your story has impacted me today and is encouragement. THANKYOU. May you also be encouraged and renewed and restored as continue being the warrior until there is peace in the land.

      • Shannon says:

        You can be forgiving and not stay. Forgiving does not equal staying. You can set boundaries that you will not remain if the abuse happens again and be perfectly in God’s will. God does not love the marriage more than the individuals in the marriage. God loves you as an individual and does not want you to be abused and destroyed in your marriage. It can be more loving to your husband to set boundaries and not stay if he is abusive. Consequences, such as you leaving if the abuse continues, may cause your husband to have to deal with his sin. staying no matter what enables him to continue in his sin. Please make a plan to go somewhere safe. God wants you to be loved not abused.

      • Melissa says:

        That is not God you are hearing. It is not God’s will nor your husband’s promise for you to suffer his abuse. I’ve been there and believed the same lie. Yes, your husband needs God’s love and counseling but you need to get out especially if children are involved. Your husband is to love you like Christ loved the church even to die for you. Nowhere does the Bible allow a man to abuse his wife. God says to test everything against scripture. Ephesians 5:25 above says the exact opposite of what you are hearing. 1 Thessalonians 5:22, But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good.
        Beating you is not good and it’s not of God.

      • Anonymous says:

        Don’t spiratulize abuse. That’s NOT what God wants from us!

      • Chad Moyer says:

        The Lord says to not treat our wives harshly. In addition, the Lord says for wives to submit to their husbands, but for the husband to be understanding of the wife. Yes, the Lord says to forgive 70×7. Also, I must tell you that the only way you may divorce him is if he cheats on you or is committing adultery. Adultery is in two forms: one is having sex with another woman or man while married, and the other is looking lustfully at men or women while being married. The Lord Jesus Christ extended adultery. I do pray for you and your husband. I was abusive towards my wife and caused her to commit adultery. Yes, because she committed adultery I had every right to divorce, but I did not. Instead she filed and after she was cheated on by who she cheated on me with, we started talking. The Lord says if a wife leaves but remains married and wants to return, then we are to reconcile.

        You, do what is right by our heavenly father and our Lord Jesus Christ and try not to fall. Have faith and stay in prayer and fast if prayer seems to go unanswered and I tell you the Lord will bless you and your family. God bless you. Keep your faith

        • Emily says:

          you did not cause your wife to commit adultery.

          My husband was abusive and I did not commit adultery.In fact he abused and cheated. Adultery is a heart problem, as it was for David.

      • Anonymous says:

        What do you do when the wife is abusive and has no respect for her husband at all

    • Anonymous says:

      That happened offten

    • Alisha says:

      I am in your same boat everything is my fault and the drinking along with complete separate lives.

      • Angie says:

        I am in the same boat but emotionally abused. He isn’t an alcoholic but does like to drink and the last few times we have fought. This is the second time we marries each other because we were really young when we had our son. He is now 17. This time we have been married almost 11 years and have a 9 yr old daughter. A month ago we had our worst fight ever. In front of our daughter. As bad as I hate to say this but my mother in law is a lot of our problem. Even thou we dnt live close to her she always has something to say about me. He believes her and I’m always on the losing end of this argument. Anyways that night he told me he wanted a divorce bc of how I treat his mom. ( bc I dnt trust anything about her). He did put his hands on me. Out of 5 wks we have gotten along 1. My daughter tells me She doesn’t want us to fight anymore. But she will always talk and be happy around him bc she doesn’t want him mad at her. My son doesn’t want to come home anymore. He does but only when it’s cerfew time. I dnt know why I’m tell you all this. I keep listening for God to tell me what to do. I dnt hear anything. My husband says he doesn’t want a divorce but in the next sentence we talk about separating out things. I know I can do this by myself. I already do but maybe I’m putting this out there for some advise or whatever. I dnt know I’m empty and I have always fought for us and our family, but I dnt think it’s worth fighting for anymore. Sorry it’s a long post.

        • Vic says:

          I lived this with the mother In law who was like the other woman… she from the beginning with sabotage our relationship and only got worse and worse and worse and of course like you said you are never going to win that fight that is his mother …I tried for 14 plus years…But both people have to try both people have to want it both people have to love each other… I’ve been out almost 2 years now my divorce is not final but I’m the happiest I’ve ever been in a long time I even have a new man in my life who loves me but even there I see a few red flags that need to be fixed before we move on first and foremost love yourself

  8. 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.

    • Anonymous says:

      There is another choice that men make. That if having one or more affairs.

      • Sam says:

        That makes the garden die.

        • Leticia Molina says:

          Same thing that happens in option 1…

        • Crystal says:

          Yes it most certainly makes the garden die. It doesnt gave to be a physical affair, emotional affairs are just as bad. If been through both.

          • Dafuq says:

            What about when your garden lets another gardener “in”? Is the garden worth sharing?

          • Brad says:

            And Crystal, both of these types of affairs can go both ways. If communication breaks down then we need to remember that we have two ears to hear and one mouth to speak. Maybe we need to stop talking and start listening. And maybe we’ll get to the root of the problem. As I recall, a relationship involves two imperfect people that are trying to make the best of things.
            And sometimes the garden will challenge the gardener by trying to tempt another gardener to look over the garden, or through introducing new species of weed to see what will happen. In all but the most rare cases this will never end well.

  9. 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.

      • C.H. says:

        Hi Kelly. Are you male or female? Asking because you said you don’t have that kind of circle of friends. I am female and same here.
        Yet, I don’t see myself going down that road too much longer. Only God can change him…I can’t. Unfortunately, his garden is dying. If he wants his garden to grow, He has to water it, nourish it and grow it….watch it spring back to life!

    • Norma says:

      That’s narcissistic and a whole different type of dysfunction

    • Alisa Dunn says:

      He’s gaslighting you.

  10. 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:

          Jesus came to heal, and his name is above all names, including narcissist. A spouse could very well be the devils puppet on a string for now, but Jesus wins.

        • Anonymous says:

          You are right, Christianity or any other religion absolutely can’t change a narcissist. In fact a narcissist will most likely use the religion to manipulate and control. However, Jesus Christ can and does. I surrendered my life to Christ in 2014 days before my wife filed and asked me to move out. It has been a incredibly hard 3 years with intensive counseling, prayer and studying the Word. I can honestly say that I am healthy for the first time in my life. I know God can heal the narcissist, because I am healed.

      • Anonymous says:

        Perfectly worded!

  11. 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.

        • Anonymous says:

          My life

        • Newbie says:

          You ladies break my heart. It’s so hard to hear this stuff. I have been married almost 13 mos. My husband is sweet but he misprioritizes things. Thinks what I want or is important is all
          $$. I just want his time, affection, and my sexual needs met. I tell him all the time how would you feel if I ignored your needs? But he doesn’t seem to get it and seems to think all
          ok. I would
          love it if he didn’t work so much OT. 🙁

          • Somemom says:

            Could you down size so he could work less? Is that his desire? Most men want to work it is in the core of there being, like most females desire children, it is how good wired them. I also always desire more time, and am married to a pretty sweet guy that attempts to prioritize, but one day came a God smack, you can have a good a godly desire and it also be an idol, particularly if the desire begins and end with you.and the spirit reminded me of Hanna, who was willing to give the child, back to God for his service, it was no longer a child just for her.

        • Alisha says:

          I havent been hugged or kissed in years. Not even when crying. I have been the fault taker for 12 years and have only heard im sorry twice. He still thinks everything is fine bc he is.

          • Misty says:

            This is the exact picture of my life. My husband is so verbally, mentally, and spiritually abusive and I just feel so lost. I have 4 children and zero support system, my church cares nothing about the state of our marriage and family even though the Pastor/Elders know. I constantly beg God to take him out of our lives. I would rather raise my children as a single mother than live under such abuse and manipulation. Ironically he has actually read this book, didn’t do him a bit of good but somewhere in our house is is buried under a pile of books, collecting dust no less.

        • Anonymous says:

          I feel your pain, & I’m so sorry!

        • Amy Ingram says:

          My scenario to a T. I feel for ya honey. I’m about to just call it quits. I’ve wasted 6 years of my life. I don’t know how I’ll be able to find a way to support myself and my 2 kids… but hopefully I’ll be able to think of something bc I can’t take this anymore.

      • Gloria Horvath says:

        Amen! All women are to most men…after marriage… is a nuisance.

    • 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.

        • David L says:

          That’s good stuff right there GOD just used your words to give a HOLY smack in the face .

          • David L says:

            My face

            • DL says:

              I have to say I was becoming discouraged reading everyone’s reply mostly until this point. They said what u was feeling and then you felt God reach you through their words by His Spirit. Yay! Go God Go! 😀

              There are no easy ways to fix broken marriages… especially like those above have said that their husbands drink now and so on…. but God is the redeemer and the only one who truly can fix anything. We must love Him so much that we no matter our thought’s or how we *feel* won’t stand in the way. My marriage isn’t perfect… but years ago I made a prayer closet in my hallway and met with God daily about my marriage…. my husband had just stood in our living room and said he doesn’t believe God is real anymore … after all we’d been through with God, after all He has done and showed us…. miracle after miracle…and then he says this. It drove me in the arms of our Savior so intensley. I didn’t care if my husband was home or not, I’d go spend time with Jesus… praying for us… praying my husband back to the the throne of God. It took 6 month for my husband to enter church again and all he would do is go into the foyer. Over time he dared God to give him a reason to believe again, to walk into the sanctuary. And God did what He does best… He reached down right where my husband was at and showed him a sure sign of His presence in a way that was so personal to my husband. My husband rededicated his life to Christmas two weeks after. Have things been perfect, no. We have been at many times where he has been at the crossroad to keep walking due to life’s unforseen circumstances that will make or break you in God. But it’s my duty as his helpmate to help. So i pray. I keep going, standing for Christmas when he thinks he can’t or doesn’t want to. There has been a time or two when it took me a bit to get on my feet from a blow, and that time was so difficult with attitude and negativity… but when I pray… even when it doesn’t seem like anything is happening then BAM! God shows out and my husband begins to change little by little. The thing is to Not become weary in well doing… bc when we do, it’s when Satan finds a foothold in. So even if it looks ugly b4 better, keep standing for Christmas and when you are left with nothing more to do, stand some more.

              Now if you and rete being abused, GET OUT. If he is putting you or your children in any kind of danger, Get.Out.

              But if not, perservere… both spouses at one point or another are guilty if things have gone bad… but it’s important to get ourselves right with God, behaving as He instructs us, and go after His kingdom first so God can move accordingly on our behalfs, including with our husbands. We don’t need to understand it we just need to trust God that He is God and knows fully all, even if it looks like a mess right now.

              My marriage, right now, it’s a bit of a mess once again… and my husband will tell you it’s not anything I have done, but I don’t help when I repremand him to do what he knows is right to do… all that does is push him furather away and hinders God’s work in Him. Who are we to stand in HIS way…

              Keep pressing in for your husbands, bc as we do, as we put God first, As we bring it b4 HIS throne, He WILL move on our behalf. We just need to trust and obey and choose to love even when it’s difficult. God’s grace is amazing! ♡

    • 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….

      • Anonymous says:


      • Brad says:

        It ain’t necessarily so…. the thing with a garden is that the gardener tends to it to receive fruit for his labour. Even Jesus cursed the fig tree, when it did not bear fruit. When a gardener provides nutrients, water and even attention to the garden and the tree doesn’t bear fruit, is it the tree or the gardener….. unfortunately not all trees bear fruit, no matter how much attention is lavished upon them.

        And sometimes when the garden goes long distance, the garden puts on a display for other gardeners showing no respect for the gardener that has tended to the garden. Not even saying bears fruit for the new gardeners. But that too impacts on the gardener when he finds out.

        Be a fruitful garden for your own gardener, not for the general public, and you’ll see that your gardener finds more desire to tend to his crop over other more mundane things in life.

    • 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.

      • Lex says:

        Wow ! Sister I don’t think I have ever read or heard that anywhere before. That was brave and it is encouraging THANKYOU.

  12. 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?).

      • Heidi says:

        I can’t see how women are being worshipped?!!! Please explain? I work just as hard right along with my Husband, so I’m not quite sure why your saying that. I know a lot of women that are certainly not worshipped!

    • 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.

  13. 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!

  14. 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.


    • 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:

      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.

    • Anonymous says:

      Play hell find another guy bought your age have his best friend to call tell him he saw u with another man then start hanging out together in community a little to stir the pot a little then he loose trust in you a little an he start going to church with you cause only way to defeat hell is salvation in the Lord

  15. 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 .

  16. 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.

  17. 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

      • Boo says:

        I’m just wondering if I’m married to a narcissistic man. We met 8 years ago I lost my tire on my car in his apartment complex everything moved very fast he was in the military waiting to be medically discharged, about our third date I should have stopped rite there I was informed ” he broke up with his girlfriend ” I was a bit shocked since I had no idea he had one my response was you didn’t have to do that …. anyways long story I purposed to him with a ring and everything, he was a recovering alcoholic just had been baptized very kind so I thought we were married 3 months after we met a little fast but I honestly felt a little pressured he told me we were living in sin and either we got married or we moved on so we got married… About 3 months in our marriage he relapsed I started picking up on little comments being made and he was always calling his ex wife, the girlfriend he had when we first met and making derogatory comments about women being hot, etc…. it became hurtful and I tried to tell him how it made me feel ” nobody else ever had a problem ” it made me question my morals like I had it all wrong, he would tell me about his ex wife and girlfriend waking him up for sex and numerous women he has been with ….. those things I didn’t want to hear it stung at my heart like a razor but he always seemed to make it my issue not his,the drinking and prescription meds were still a problem as well he suffers ptsd major depression and anxiety but when it comes to bars buddy he was on it like stink on rice,then drive home he would proceed to tell me wait girl had so many problems in there relationship life etc… this was a major concern because I felt like instead of focusing on our marriage he was more concerned about them… he has ran off before for a week or so with no good reason then come back with a ultimatum as if I left. Two years ago I got custody of my two granddaughters and this time with the alcohol and pills he left been gone for 3 months now but before he left he pretty much gave me a ultimatum again ” I didn’t know you were gonna have them til they were 18 they r 3,2 I’m now second on the list” I know he has issues but to me he’s being controlling, and selfishly please tell me I’m not crazy when he does come by he still tells me about so and so and I was sneaky one night he came over drunk and I checked his phone of course he was telling his ex wife happy Mother’s Day and how beautiful she was that hurt yet again …

    • 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

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Marriage and Relationship Coaching

Over the Phone
Call Us at 1-888-642-3036
Talk Now - Live 24/7 Help
Order Our Marriage Book
How to Fight for Your Marriage Without Fighting with One Another


  • Learn our 2-step Process to Solving Marriage Issues
  • Use for your next Bible study
  • A Biblical and Refreshing Approach