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. 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:


      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 …

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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!

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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:


      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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

    • Kimberlee says:

      I’ve been married for 19 years and my husband is a trucker so he spends alot of time alone and away from the kids and I ..Well recently i started to feel very lonely and when he came home i told him how lonely i had felt but didnt get much response other than why dont you go get a job and occupy yourself..Well obviously that upset me i have been a housewife for 19 years so getting a job wont be that easy and it surely didnt make me feel loved at all …So a few days had passed and i asked him if he even loved me or if i was just a habit to him ..He responded of course i love you we’ve been married for 19 years..Then about 5 days later i called to tell him good morning and he tells me remember when you asked me if i loved you well i dont know how to tell you this Kim but i dont love you anymore…My heart has been broken since August 6th..And a week or so later he said lets start the divorce process..Im so depressed and have anxiety..Our son is heading off to college in a few weeks and we have our daughter in High School and we are all so devastated by all of this and my kids have alot of anger towards their father because he’s always lying to them about when he’s coming to see them ..Im trying to have faith but it’s really hard when your heart is broken and my husband has no care in the world ..He still sends money for bills and groceries but has otherwise abandoned us..Please pray for my kids and I and my husband..

  12. 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?

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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?

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  21. 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

  22. 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:

      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.

  23. 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.

  24. 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: https://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

  25. 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?


      Dr. Force

      • 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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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