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, Dr. Raymond Force discusses the 3 choices that husbands have when faced with difficulties in a marriage. Here is a little food for thought from our marriage book.


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. Raymond Force III


For Individual Study Or Use As A Couples Devotional


Our marriage book, How to Fight For Your Marriage Without Fighting With One Another, has been designed for individual study as well as a couples devotional. With thought provoking questions at the end of each chapter, couples find our book a helpful resource to encourage healthy, forward-thinking conversation. For ordering information, visit our online resource center.

Prefer listening rather than reading? Check out our audio book or listen to a live recording of one of our How to Fight for Your Marriage – Marriage Conferences. These are great options for the non-reader in your life.

Oops! Almost forgot. There is a that Amazon option also available to you.


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Posted in Issues Relating to Husbands

275 comments on “A Husband Has 1 Of 3 Choices
  1. 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

  2. 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!

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