Skip to main content

“I Can’t Do This Anymore!” – GraceAlone

1046561_63759639
We are going to continue to follow GraceAlone, the wife from last week’s post “My Husband Refuses to Have Children with Me!?!?” on her journey. The beginning of this road is often excruciatingly painful! This group of emails is from over a week ago. I kind of wish I could post all of the past week’s progress in one post. But it would be so long, no one could possibly read it all. So we will take this in stages.  It is amazing to watch all that God is doing in her. She is just beginning this journey. She is in the most painful part, the part with the most questions, fears and struggles. Please pray for her and her precious husband (who is trying to lead her and be a godly man in so many ways) and encourage her as she learns and grows and waits on the Lord to heal her broken heart and to transform her into the image of Christ.
My hope is that although I can’t email every wife anymore, the volume is just too great when I try to do that, that maybe I can take a few wives at a time and email them and share their emails to bless everyone. Hopefully in another month or two, I will be ready to add 1-2 more wives and we can follow several wives’ journeys together.
GRACEALONE’S EMAIL
.
April,
I’m at the point now where I don’t even want to try because right now I feel like I don’t want to stay married to him. 
This all started because about a year ago when I left a full time job to work part time. My husband has always complained about our financial situation since then. I always ask him if he wants me to go to work full time and he will say, “No, I want you to stay home because I know it makes you happy and if you were to go work full time again you would be miserable.” So, I feel like I have never ever gotten a direct answer from him. I never know what I’m supposed to do in that area. But, I am so tired of listening to him complain or act depressed about our financial  situation.
.
I feel like literally everything in my life has suffered more because of bring married to him. I feel like I made the biggest mistake of my life, and that I should have dated more, etc. I’m so miserable right now, and I am barely hanging on. I cannot even honestly say that I want to stay married to him.
.
Right now, I feel the only thing keeping us together is if we were to divorce we would be looked down on from family and friends etc. When I look at all the things I have had to deal with/accept on his behalf – I just feel like I made a mistake.
.
Any thoughts and advice and prayers are greatly appreciated. Thank you!
FROM PEACEFULWIFE
My precious girl!!!!!!!!!!

.
Let’s take a deep breath and let’s lay this before Jesus.
.
He did give you a concrete answer about the job. He wants youto be happy. You’ve been crying every day. He knows you are not happy. He is trying to make you happy. But I imagine he feels like a huge failure knowing you are so sad all the time. I am sure that he feels the pressure every husband does toprovide well financially for his wife/family.  I vote to thank him for providing and for allowing you to workpart time and to enjoy this incredible gift he is giving to you, allowing youto bepart time. And I suggest tocooperate with any budget he sets. When husbandstry and try to make their wives happy, and their wives are never happy, never satisfied with the husband’s efforts – eventually men will give up and not even put forth anymore effort. They know that no matter what they do, their wife will still be unhappy, so it seems like it is just “not worth it” to try anymore. Why try when she is still goingto be upset no matter what a man does? One of the greatest gifts you can give him at this point isto be happy about being ableto bepart time and appreciate that generous gift he is giving to you.

Even if you did make “the biggest mistake of your life” by marrying your husband – which I am not convinced you have, (by the way, almost everyone feels this way at some point!) – God is still sovereign, my sweet sister. And it is God’s will for you to stay here based on what the Bible says about the marriage covenant. I have a feeling that there is much to be learned at His feet right now. I don’t want you to miss any of the good things He has in store for you!
You don’t have to want to be married to him right now. Feelings are not the basis for our actions as believers in Christ. THANKFULLY! There will be times with emotions like this to work through – but then, you have to “boss your feelings around” (Shaunti Feldhahn – “Secrets of Highly Happy Marriages” ) and decide to honor Christ anyway, trusting Him to be able to bring something beautiful from this situation. He is totally capable of doing just that!
  • ALL spouses have to deal with and accept painful things and all spouses are sinned against and hurt. This is not an unusual case at all, my friend.
What this experience (and his sin against you) is doing, is bringing all of your true motives to the surface so that you can allow God to remove all the sin and refine your faith and purify your motives. It doesn’t matter who you married, God would use the problems, conflicts and difficulties to refine you like this.
.
How is your time with God going?
.

GRACE ALONE’S EMAIL

.

I don’t feel like I even know what love is anymore. I don’t know how to trust God – I’m so scared.

I feel like God let me down.

I was the girl who had very high standards, when guys asked me on a date, if I didn’t think they could be a potential husband for me, I wouldn’t go. I was waiting for the “right one.”

.

I thought God clearly told me this man was, indeed, that right one, but now I don’t know anything anymore. My husband was the only guy I entered a courtship with. I sat there in premarital counseling listening to him say that he would want kids, and how leading his family spiritually was so important to him. I feel like I was let down by God and by my husband.

  • I always think, here I am, the girl who tried to make all the right choices, and I ended up like this.

I see others blessed in their lives and marriages, and I cannot help but feel like God is punishing me. Every time I think I should spend time with God, I start questioning everything – does God care, does He love me, is He working on my husband?  Millions or questions go thru my head to the point that often I end up not even having a quiet time or at least a good one. If the way a husband loves his wife is supposed to portray an image of God’s love towards us, than I don’t feel very loved at all. I am the girl who is always counseling others and pointing them to God, but I have no idea where to even begin myself. I feel like I’m in one deep depression with no sign of the slightest deliverance. I’m sorry if I am repeating myself. I’m so thankful God led me to blog. I desperately needed someone to talk to.

.

ANOTHER EMAIL FROM GRACEALONE:

.

Thank you for sending the post “God, Don’t Waste My Time.” It ministered to me.
What I felt like God was showing me was that far too long, I have put other things before Him – including my marriage. I have a lot of idols.  You are right when you say my relationship with God has been suffering – it has.
I realize that I, like you in the beginning, go thru all the right motions without any actions to back it up. I do want to start honoring God in my marriage and I know I need to spend more time with Him. My goal would be to try to get up an hour earlier and have a quiet time. Please pray for me- as this is hard.

Yesterday, I asked my husband if he still loved me – he couldn’t answer. He said that it is hard to separate all the accumulated anger he feels towards me over the past few years.

.
For me, It seems almost unbearable to try to “respect” him when I don’t even know if he loves me or not. Nevertheless, I want to try. I told my husband that I want to change… He sarcastically laughed and said, “Yeah, right, I have heard that before. The fact of the matter is that neither of us will probably ever change.”
  • He is right- I have tried changing before and I seem to always go back to my same old ways.
I am worried about telling my husband I want to change “sticking to it for three days” as he says, and then reverting back. I don’t want that to happen. I also feel like I am having a very hard time even being generally motivated in life. I don’t feel like cleaning my house I feel very tired, I don’t feel like exercising, or trying to eat right- etc etc etc.
I don’t know how to live a life that is not driven by my emotions because that is all I have ever known. Letting go of kids completely, seems impossible to me. I want to try… I just am afraid it will be very short lived.
Thank you for being such a blessing and ministry in my life right now. You will never know how grateful I am. 
.
FROM PEACEFULWIFE:
.
WOOHOO!!!!
.
This is exactly what I prayed would happen – that God would begin to convict you of your idols and that you would be willing to surrender to Him and to begin to do things His way. 🙂  THANK YOU, GOD!
A few suggestions (my own personal opinions, for whatever they are worth):
.
1. Do not ask your husband if he still loves you. That means that you are probably putting your security and identity still in him and that you are looking to him for acceptance and safety instead of to Christ.  Your words about the marriage and spiritual things are probably going to be destructive right now. I Peter 3:1-6 is your assignment. Your power is not in words at all, but in learning to allow God’s Spirit to empower and change you in a radical way and in showing genuine respect, honor and godly unconditional love to your husband no matter what he does or does not do.
.
Your husband is DEEPLY wounded – as wounded or more wounded than you are. (GraceAlone shared a number of disrespectful things she has said/done in the past 4 years when we met this week. Some of them have created MASSIVE damage to her husband’s soul and this marriage.) Please focus on what you can do to bless him, not how you want him to meet your needs. He is so wounded right now, he may not be able to meet your needs. One day, when he is stronger, he may be able to. Right now, my prayer is that you will allow God to heal you and allow God to work through you to begin to heal your husband, too.
.
2. I’m glad you apologized to him. Awesome.  But – don’t apologize any more, is my suggestion – unless there is a new disrespectful or sinful thing that you did. Then apologize without any explanation or justification of yourself.
.
3. This is going to be a LONG, LONG process. Like a year or several years. Maybe longer. That is a good thing. It forces you to refine your motives even when it seems like your husband is not changing.  Your husband is going to be skeptical at first. That is normal. Thankfully, you are not depending on him but on Christ from now on, so it doesn’t really matter what he says or feels – I hope that makes sense. His feelings matter. What he wants is important. Listen to him. Care about what he says. Honor his leadership. But what ultimately matters is what God says and to seek to please God.  That is all that matters. That is all you are responsible for. You are only responsible for yourself, your sin and your obedience to God. We will trust God to take care of your husband in His timing.  So, you are going to have to put your own desires on the back burner for awhile because your husband is so wounded, commit your needs and desires and dreams to Christ – and focus on obeying God and blessing your husband. Not to get anything in return, just to love him with the love of Christ and to bless him. God is plenty able to change your husband’s feelings as He changes you. But even if He does not, you can trust God and seek to live for Him alone.
.
4. I would recommend starting in John with a chapter a day or so. And, I would recommend reading at least one post on my blog, if not several, each day.  I suggest starting a list of all the things you admire/respect about your husband and add to it every change you get. Take that list with you into your prayer closet. And start a list of all of your sin and take that list with you, too. Pray for God to change you and bless your husband. Don’t demand that God change your husband right now. God will handle him. Right now, it is time for you to get out of God’s way so that your husband can begin to hear God’s voice again. And the only way to do that is for you to obey God for your end of things.
.
5. God is sovereign. He is able to give you children if it is His will. He is able to change your circumstances, your husband’s heart and all of that. It is a small thing for him to do that. He may allow you to have children later. I don’t know. Your job is to be sure that you are able to lay that dream down and be content even if you don’t have children.
.
Your job is to find all of your contentment in Christ, not in your husband, in feeling loved, in having your way, in “worldly happiness” or in having children.
Please understand, idolatry always destroys and brings death. Sin always brings death.
Desiring children is a good thing. Children are a blessing. But – they are not more important than Christ and they are not more important than your marriage covenant and they are not more important than your obedience to God and your walk with Him.
.
  • Children (in and of themselves) do not bring contentment and satisfaction. I can promise you that!
  • Husbands (in and of themselves) do not bring contentment and satisfaction.
  • Only Jesus can bring true contentment and satisfaction.

.

As you surrender yourself fully to Him, saying, “Not my will but Yours be done” and as you rest in His love and sovereignty – you can be content as you trust Him to do what is ultimately best for you and your husband and what will ultimately bring glory to Himself.

.
6. Your motivation has to be to please Christ and to be a godly steward of your body, your time, your marriage and all of your resources. Whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God! That is your motivation! You will stand before Christ very shortly when this life is over – your motivation is that you want to hear Him say, “Well done, My good and faithful servant.” He has called you to fulfill His purposes for you. You are His servant. When He asks you to do anything, your answer is, “Yes, Lord!” He gave all of Himself for you – now, you give all of yourself fully to Him. It is an adventure every day to see what He will show you and teach you and what He might do. He gives good things and good surprises and even all of our suffering is a tool in His hand to make us more like Christ. You cannot lose!  If good things happen, God is behind them and He will use them to bless you and cause you to grow. If bad things happen, God will use them to bless you and cause you to become more mature and complete, lacking nothing. You cannot lose when you are abiding in Christ. That is the best place in the world to be – in the center of His will. That is where there is overflowing love, joy, peace, fulfillment, purpose, acceptance, security and power.
.
Much love to you!
RELATED:
MORE FROM GRACEALONE:

56 thoughts on ““I Can’t Do This Anymore!” – GraceAlone

  1. Dear Grace Alone,

    Hi Grace and hey April it is finally l me Missy Sue.

    I have a lot I could say April as you know and have known my situation with my hubby and not it being the right time for the past five years since I got sick in 2009 with a huge cycling episode with my bipolar disorder that I have had since I was 12.

    I was wondering April if you could pm me or email me Grace Alones email or give her mine.

    I am on my kindle right now so I am typing one finger but really want to share on here my struggles Bout this topic. Please April can I write you an email or a little post to sometime follow this one?

    I have much to say and your advise is good.

    More later…but praying for you Grace and our situations although different in nature…still similar.

    Let April know if I can be of help.

    I have been on this journey since July 2013 and started with the Respect Dare.

    I just did Day 26.

    Also I am beginning to write my own WordPress blog.

    FAITH in the MIDST OF ILLNESS.

    Sincerely yours with lots of HUGS AND GRACE.

    Missy Sue 722

    I understand about hubby not touching you, complimenting you, etc. I am there now. Just one honest compliment about my appearance would make my years.

    Bye for now.

  2. If I were to write you a heartfelt email, it would echo GracesAlone’s. I met my husband at a Bible school. We spent our courtship serving a church and saved our first kiss for our wedding day. Yet, within two months of our marriage, he no longer had a desire for church and was using porn. Now, he is angry and bitter (uses profanity like a sailor and makes constant racial slurs), will barely attend church on a good day, refuses to combine our incomes or pay any bills out of his budget (I earn more, so he thinks it’s my responsibility according to him), refuses to do anything around the house and intimacy is a thing of the past (partly because that way he knows I can’t get pregnant – he told me that). I hate my marriage, but the only thing I can cling to is that God did not save me to make me happy, but to make me more like Him. I have seen so much sin in my responses to my husband, my pride in thinking that I deserve better, etc. My husband is not going to meet my needs like I thought (some of that expectation was unfair to begin with), but I’m starting to learn to walk with Jesus in a new way. I fail a lot, but He is faithful.

    1. Lucy,
      So incredibly sorry to hear some of the things you are going thru in your marriage. This is so painful, I know. I will pray for you as we journey down this road together friend!
      I feel like God is already beginning to show me that for far too long, I have had “circumstantial happiness.” If things went my way, I would be happy for a few days, than if something didn’t go the way I thought it should in my marriage, I quickly spiraled down for days. My biggest struggle right now that I am so much wanting to do, is to trust Jesus so much, that my joy does not waiver based on what happens in my marriage. This is NOT easy, and by far one of the hardest things I have EVER had to do. I want to be in control because I think I know better- I know this thought process does not please the Lord. I pray that I can decrease and Jesus can increase.I know in the end, all of this “painful refining” will be “Glorious Rewarding” one day. 🙂 It is not an overnight thing, as I am learning. This takes a long time to get to this point of complete surrender and trust in Jesus. I praying for you and your marriage, thank you for your encouragement.

      1. Thank you. I struggle so much with all of this and so often, trying to seek godly help gets me nowhere. I’ve found that I can always find some I’ve who will spout my anger (most women will respond with outrage over these things like there’s an unwritten code or something), but few will point back to Christ. As much as I know that I need to learn to respect my husband, I also know that I have no real idea as to how to do it. Thank you to each who have been supportive. May God use even barrenness against our choice for His glory!

        1. Lucy,

          My precious girl! Yes, women can be quick to sympathize with you and be angry at your husband, but that doesn’t help you to heal or focus on what God desires you to do.

          I have some posts at the top of my home page about disrespect, respect and biblical submission that I believe may be very helpful.

          Are there specific situations you would like to talk about – I am glad to give you some suggestions.

          Much love to you! I can’t wait to see all that God has in store for you!

  3. April, I know it has been such a difficult decision for you to let go of the email ministry you had before. But as always, God knows best and I think the lessons we, your readers, will gain from going deep in the journeys of fellow wives are invaluable. I am being so blessed from hearing stories like Grace Alone’s. And I am very grateful for these brave women who will share their struggles and allow us to lift them up in prayer as we follow along. Thank you all for your willingness to be obedient to the Lord’s direction, even when it is hard. Blessings!

    1. Thank you, Lisa!

      It was emails like this all day every day that I was responding to. 100-150 of them. That was definitely just getting overwhelming in quantity for me. So, I do pray that other women getting to walk beside a few women with me might bless many, many more women as they see the nuts and bolts and step by step process of conviction, repentance, growth, change, healing and beauty that God is able to create and how God is completely able to make something beautiful from the most painful of circumstances.

      Thank you for praying for these precious sisters of ours!

  4. This is such a hard process. It’s so tempting to just want to quit. He told me just this morning that he’s sure the only reason we aren’t fighting as much is because he’s sure I’m just suppressing it. One wrong word and is like it’s all for nothing. In my head I know that’s not true but it sure feels that way. Your comments to o her are very encouraging … Just having a tough morning.

    1. Jeanne,

      At first – the first few months and sometimes the first year or two – are SO SO SO HARD!

      Husbands get really skeptical in this first stage. That is understandable. But it does make it hard on a wife who genuinely wants to grow and change. This is not a fast process. It is an entire overhaul of our souls, hearts and minds. It involves dumping out every single lie and warped idea at the very foundation of who we believe God is, who we believe we are, what it means to be a godly woman, what it means to be a godly wife, what marriage is, what it means to be a believer in Christ and rebuild from scratch on God’s Word. That is not a 2 week process. It is actually a lifetime process. But it can take many, many months or years for a woman to feel like she knows how to crucify and die to self and the old sinful nature and how to live in the power of God’s Spirit. I have seen it happen in a few weeks – but most of the time, it takes a LONG time for this change. I am not saying we eventually become “perfect.” We definitely do not. But God does give us the power to live in victory over sin and in the power of His Spirit and to stay there most of the time. Well, God can give us the power to stay there all of the time, but we fall short when we take our eyes off of Him or don’t abide in Him at times.

      Some husbands are very unforgiving at first and don’t have much grace. They are so scared to get their hopes up. And they think if a wife messes up once, that she hasn’t changed at all. That is usually not true! But husbands don’t usually realize HOW MUCH has to change and how this goes to the core and foundation of a woman’s soul. And it takes time to learn how men think and to understand that whole new masculine world, too.

      To me, it is very much like learning a new foreign language or learning to walk for the first time after an almost paralyzing injury. it is a long process.

      This will require great patience on the part of wives and husbands. As husbands continue to see their wives get up and keep going and seek God first and have more and more of the peace and joy of Christ, they will eventually get curious. And, over a long time, many of them will begin to let their walls come down.

      I didn’t have ANY clue what I was doing until over 2 years into my journey.

      Greg didn’t feel safe with me until 3.5 years into my journey.

      It is a LONG, LONG process.

      BUT IT IS SO WORTH IT! Even if our husbands never change – JESUS IS WORTH IT! We are doing this for Him, thankfully, not for our husbands and not to change our husbands and not to get what we want, but just to thank God for what He has done for us and to please Him.

      This requires a constant sweep of our motives. I was thinking about it today – it is like having a radar in your mind – and noticing all of your motives, uncovering the hidden motives, and yanking out any sinful motives right away and repenting of them before God and asking Him to change us.

      This journey is NOT all for nothing. Christ Himself will reward our obedience and our devotion to Him. HE is our prize!

      Much love to you!

    1. Ted,

      Yes, we have to get to a place of total brokenness where we see the depths of our sin and humble ourselves before Him and repent. Then He is so amazing and faithful to lift us up! Thank you!

  5. Grace Alone and Lucy,
    You are not alone in your struggles! I too feel I have been deceived in the man I married. It has been a year since we married and it has been VERY hard but it has made me look at myself and my sins and brought me closer to God and His word.

    I have found comfort and support in April’s blog and her readers, together with support from a Godly and wise friend. I can’t encourage you enough in finding a Titus type godly woman to walk with you during this time. Although i have been blessed abundantly by Aprils posts, God is using my Titus friend to speak to me specifically about my struggles and sin. I have to talk through issues to find clarity, and my Titus friend has helped me bring every thought and feeling captive!

    And I am trying very hard to keep 1 Pet 3:1-6 as my ‘mantra’ and bless my husband by not trying to be his Holy Spirit with my lectures and implied commands! As the dominant character in our relationship, any success I have made is purely Gods work!

    God is sovereign over ALL things, including our marriages and our husbands. As I repeat this to myself hourly, daily, at any issue/event that develops, I am reassured of His love for me and I have a sense of peace despite all of the emotional turmoil I find myself in!

    1. Senterwife,

      How we need more Titus 2 wives!!!!! That is my prayer. That God will raise up thousands and thousands of godly women to mentor the others. He is already doing it! He is at work in such a mighty way and I praise and thank Him for that!

      Thank you for sharing your story. Ideally, a wife would have someone she can meet with and call and talk with once a week or a few times a week on the phone or face to face. That would be SO helpful! If the mentor is a godly mentor and gives biblical counsel and helps the wife focus on her own responsibilities and accountability before God.

      I am so excited to see what God has in store for you and all of the ladies here!

  6. My heart goes out to these women. What pain they are being asked to go through! I am keeping you all in my prayers, may the comfort of the suffering Lord be given to you!

  7. This has to be one of the most depressing entries and comment sections I have read on this blog. And I am an avid reader. A woman’s opportunity to have children is so very short when compared to a man. It sounds like the very definition of irreconcilable differences to me.

    Maybe God is not allowing the desire for children from your husband because he knows the situation at the current moment is a mistake? If your husband changed his mind about major life decisions after marriage couldn’t that be considered a bait and switch?

    I’m all for trying to have great marriages and work things out, but withholding intimacy or children is a huge deal. Could God be showing you that the marriage was a mistake?

    What people who have children from a second marriage after a divorce? God obviously planned those children or they wouldn’t exist. He used that situation and difficult first marriage for his glory.

    I’m very early on this walk, have similar struggles and don’t have the scriptural knowledge of April and others, but I don’t think God put us on earth to be with a spouse that hates you… Just my two cents.

    1. Autumn,

      I believe that God is plenty able to work in this husband and wife and bring healing. This is not too far gone. This is not a biblical reason for divorce. God is revealing quite a lot of sin to this precious wife and she is repenting and seeing where God would like her to work on her relationship with Him first and trust Him and live with Him as Lord.

      I know this part seems awful. But please stay tuned – it’s about to get good!

      God puts us on this earth for His glory and to make us holy. That is exactly what He will do with this situation if my friend will allow Him to and cling to Christ alone.

      Much love to you! I am praying for you, as well!

    2. Hi Autumn,

      I cannot tell you how many times I have questioned the very fact of if I made a mistake. Family has told me to divorce my husband, and I would be lying if I said that the thought has not been in my mind before. *However*, God is really starting to change my mindset. I believe my situation is tough, but I believe that I am also so very much to blame for the state of my marriage. I am not excusing his actions, but I am realizing that I have sinned so much against God and my husband, that I can start to see how I may have sabotaged our marriage in certain ways. When my husband was so upset with me, in that moment I was being SO incredibly disrespectful and sinning so much in my words and actions to him. I think many spouses have been so angry with each other in the “heat of the argument” that they may think those very same words, some may just voice it, and others may not. As I reflect over my marriage, I have been controlling, manipulative, prideful, and EXTREMELY disrespectful- It think it would be hard to have feelings of love towards anyone like that! I am learning, that yes, while some things that are said to me hurt me, I have to start taking responsibility for my own actions, words, and thoughts. I cannot say if I will ever have children, but I can say that I have made children an idol in my life. God wants my main focus to be Him and Him alone. This is hard, but I know it will be so worth it as I embark on this journey to please Jesus. Blessings to you!

      1. GraceAlone,

        I am SO PROUD OF YOU and so thankful to God for what He is doing in your heart!!!!!! This step is critical – to see and take full ownership and responsibility for our own sin. I know you are doing exactly that. We will keep talking about it together. I can’t wait to see all the ways God will inspire you to bless your husband and to breathe healing, hope, respect, cooperation, teamwork, honor and godly love into your marriage.

        Some wives worry about losing themselves- like you and I talked about when we met yesterday. You WILL lose yourself. You will have to lose your old sinful self and all of the sinful power you have to destroy your marriage, your husband and yourself. And then you will gain your new self in Christ, being Spirit-filled and you will gain the power of HEAVEN and Christ in your marriage.

        Praying for you today, my friend!

          1. I am praying for you Grace Alone. I have been where you are and God is so faithful and He does mighty things. You will never regret obeying Him. Now indeed is the time to continue to live out the things you believe!

    3. Hi Autumn,

      I really want to encourage you to dig into the word and as Romans 12:1-2 says not to be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.

      When my husband and I were separated, we along with our counselors were digging into the word about Gods views and words on divorce and marriage. God doesn’t talk about irreconcilable differences. God doesn’t talk about marriages being a mistake. God does talk about marriage being a convenant or one of the most powerful commitments that you can make and God does talk about using all things to His glory, being able to make beauty from ashes and making all things new.

      Our earthly thinking about how God wouldn’t want us to not be happy is not biblical…and though I do think the heart of a father is to have happy children (which I identify with as parent) there are far greater purposes for our lives than that.

      When our minds and hearts are right with God, he can take a horrible situation and make it beautiful. Just invite him to search your heart and show you pride and idols and to give you hope…He is an amazingly powerful God who desires so much for us. He doesn’t give us a pass out of our mistakes. He helps us to fix them and be glorified in the process. This is redemption.

      My life and my healed marriage have so many examples of God taking my garbage and making it beautiful and I am thankful that we turned away from divorce and gave God the opportunity to change us. And the change started with one person at a time.

      This isn’t a criticism. It’s encouraging you and others to desire so much more…

  8. GraceAlone – I feel your pain, and we are all here with you.

    I’m so glad that we are focusing on feelings here.
    I, too, was guided by my feelings all my life, to the point where I didn’t think it was possible to change. I thought, “That’s just who I am. I’m an emotional person”.
    But, NEVER underestimate the power of the Holy Spirit if you truly put forth the effort!
    Of COURSE you can change. We all can if we focus on making changes in our heart and mind, not just in our actions (although that’s very important too).

    Remember, Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, so can He surely resurrect your marriage, if you put ALL your faith in Him.
    Remember that St. Paul was previously Saul, a strong persecutor of Jesus whose heart was changed when he encountered Jesus on the road to Damascus. Saul went through a miraculous transformation, and we all can do that too (including our husbands).
    And, Matthew 9:29 says – It will be done according to your faith. So, the more you TRULY believe and trust in God’s healing touch and transforming nature, the more of His grace and true change you will experience.

    I mention these examples because I remind myself of them every day! They refresh my faith and keep me going and keep me focused. These reminders are crucial to my own progress.

    I, too, realized that I had put my marriage before my love of Jesus, and I have redirected my energies. I praise Jesus even when I feel down. I sing to Him because no matter how I feel, He is always there. That, in itself, has provided so much peace in my heart that it gives me the strength to deal with my marriage problems.

    Dealing with feelings is a BIG part of all this. HUGE actually…
    My journey to start dealing with my feelings began when I read, “Living Beyond Your Feelings”, by Joyce Meyer, a Christian evangelist.
    The advice in the book wasn’t earth-shattering, but I enjoyed her stories and it helped me to become more AWARE of my feelings, and most importantly, my REACTIONS to my feelings.
    Most people have no idea that their natural reactions to their feelings can be so destructive to their lives – ESPECIALLY to a marriage.

    I continued growing by reading TONS of marriage books and learned to understand that a man’s natural reactions to his feelings will trigger a woman’s natural reactions to her feelings and vice-versa, resulting in a chaotic and broken relationship. Like a brick wall is built between them.

    I learned a LOT about the study of emotional intelligence, emotional regulation, and emotional strength. (look up videos on youtube)

    My faith, my new emotional strength, combined with the understanding of how a man and woman unknowingly react to each other has TRULY changed me from the inside.

    The key is to act in positive ways, EVEN when we feel negative.
    That’s a tall order, but it is necessary.
    Can you feel uncomfortable (sad, lonely, scared, aggravated, irritable), but still THINK clearly and find the strength to ACT in the best interest of someone else and/or the situation?

    Honestly, the more I learned and the stronger I got from the inside, it was like a cloud had been lifted from my head. It was like I realized I had been living in the fog of my emotions all my life, but I could finally see clearly now. Like riding on an airplane and looking down at the scenery. You can see things so much better now, and from a different perspective.

    April is right on with her advice!
    Focus really hard on what your husband is giving you and not on what he is not giving. Thank him for working and providing financially. Praise him for the line of work he has chosen because it is a respectful, humble and serving line of work. Thank him for wanting you to be happy.

    I continue to focus on the ways that I have hurt my husband which keeps me in humility and accountability. It reduces my expectations of him and helps me to be patient, understanding and nurturing to him because I know that he is a broken child inside, just like I am.
    But, I turn to Jesus to heal me now, NOT my husband, because my husband is too broken to give me what I need.

    The most valuable words that a marriage counselor told me was, “You’ve needed something that he didn’t have to give.”
    It was so eye-opening and changed my perspective. How could he give something to me that he didn’t have in the first place?

    I too have a long way to go on my journey. I thank God for His guiding light leading me every step of the way. He continues to lead me to some amazing resources (including this forum) that continue to open my eyes and give me strength.
    Praise the Lord.

    1. eternallylearning,

      Thank you SO very much for those incredible reminders- so powerful!!!! Thank you for your sweet words of encouragement! So exciting to see how far God has brought you! This brings much hope to me! Thank you for your prayers!

  9. This post tugged at my heart! I am sorry for each of your pain. God heals, redeems and provides His way! Although my struggles within my marriage aren’t the same, these healing principles apply. It is SO HARD to truly crucify self and die to self. I still have to conciously do this daily (and I fail a lot).

    I too hold my husband and marriage as an idol and work hard to break that down again and again. I can recognize it more now… Before I fully believed that my sadness was my husband’s fault.

    April, GraceAlone, and all you beautiful souls thank you for sharing your journey. Our struggles may be “different” but God’s grace and mercy is constant. I pray for each of you today. I pray for God to lift us up and we continue along this path with perseverance for the rewards will be great. I honestly want to please our Lord, to honor Him with my behavior.

  10. Thank you ALL for your comments today–and every day! My heart goes out to everyone, and I want you to know much much your stories and insight encourage me. Knowing that you are struggling to do the right thing by developing a relationship with God, and persevering in faith in spite of heartbreaking circumstances really warms my heart, and I feel as if I am walking on the road holding hands with my sisters. May God richly bless you!

  11. Decades of anti-male sentiment in our culture had made it all too easy for us to discount the humanity of men.

    It is common to hear phrases calling men ‘pigs’, ‘overgrown boys’, or any other manner of cultural disrespect.

    This lack of seeing mens’ humanity didn’t stop at the door to the Church, either. It is easy to use a man as a scratching post for one’s frustration or unhappiness.

    One of the biggest lessons the Church is learning now is that men and woman are EQUAL in their ability to sin. For a long time, women have been regarded as just a bit more kind, spiritual, and nurturing.

    But a human soul is a human soul, and neither men nor women enjoy an “advantage” over the other.

    I agree with April – a lot of women have no idea of the damage they are doing, and a big reason is the de-sensitization to men that the larger cultural attitude has promoted.

    1. Jack,
      I agree… we have “learned” from our culture that men don’t have feelings and that they owe us happiness and are responsible for our happiness. It is so easy for us to have so many expectations, many of them are not realistic, and then for us to feel our men let us down. But sometimes, we don’t understand how different our men are, how they think, what they need, what we might be doing that hurts them just as deeply as the things they do that hurt us, and how wounded they can be without us even knowing we hurt them.

      Women ARE equally as sinful as men. I have a post about that!

      Sometimes we think, “Well, he did X, so I am justified in responding by doing Y.” But God does not justify our sin. Not ever. Not even when we are sinned against. Here is a post about that.

      One of the most important steps a woman can make, in my view, is to begin to understand that men are not like women, that they DO have feelings and emotions and that our words/disrespect/control can deeply wound our men but they may not talk about it the way we would. It is so critical for us to see them as human beings with needs and feelings, too. And to understand that being masculine and different from us does not = being wrong.

      Thanks so much for the comment, Jack!

      And, ladies, I have a post about how much I believe feminism has impacted our view of men/marriage that you may want to check out if you haven’t already.

    2. Thanks Jack! I am just now starting to realize all the damage I have done and how far I need to come. So thankful that we serve a God of Hope and Grace!

  12. To Gracealone. My heart is stirred by your struggle. I too am struggling. Let’s pray and struggle together knowing the amazing faith and peace Godhas in store for us. Sandy

  13. Reblogged this on praying wife and commented:
    I really feel blessed to have found peacefulwife ‘s blog! There is so much Bible-driven, God focused information. I hope peacefulwife doesn’t mind me sharing her wonderful blog along with these other wonderful women, wives, mothers’ stories.

  14. Delight yourself in The Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart. Your desires are Gods desires. He’s the one that put them there in the first place. He even has his own desires. Just my take. Simple is more sometimes. Or less is more, whichever way you look at it I suppose

  15. GraceAlone
    I just wanted to offer my 2 cents about staying home & hubby complaining about finances. I also only work part time because I wanted to be a housewife, and I used to ask my Hubby every time he complained about money if he wanted me to find full time work. He would always tell me he wanted me to do what makes me happy. I finally realized he wasn’t complaining to me, he was sharing something weighing on him with me. And if I kept taking it as a hint to get a job then he wasn’t going to feel free to share. Guys don’t hint, he finally told me if we were in a situation that he needed me to get another job, he would tell me!
    I hope that can help you some.

    1. love this! Thanks, Krystlew3! I agree – that a husband will probably ask his wife to work more if he really believes she should. The greatest gift I believe a wife can give her husband in a situation like this is to appreciate what he does for her and to enjoy the gift and to be at peace and content. That is a great gift to him! To see her happy.

    2. Thank you Krystlew3! April mentioned something like this to me on Friday, and I cannot tell you how freeing this is for me! I have carried that burden for a long time wondering if my husband wants me to go work more etc, if I knew he just wanted a happy wife and would flat tell me if he indeed wanted me to work more, I would have saved myself from much worry!

  16. GraceAlone,

    My heart breaks for you. For close to 18 years of my marriage, I found my husband distancing himself from me. Yes, we did have many wonderful times. About 1.5 years ago, my husband finally came to me and told me what was the issue. My disrespect! I began to read Peaceful Wife blog,”The Excellent Wife”, and other blogs my husband would send me on what being a Biblical Wife actually means and looks like. I am currently reading “Created to be a Help Meet”. WOW! The past year has been ups and downs and I have began to realize how much I was the one at fault for our marriage. It has gotten much better and I am much happier and have more peace within once I started to be obedient to Lord. Respecting and being submissive to our husbands is the Lord’s command to us wives. Not only was I disrespectful to him, I was in major disobedience to Father. This is just a short snippet of my journey.

    Recently I attended a conference and a question was asked “Do you believe that Father God loves you?”

    Father did NOT make any mistakes when He created you. He loves You. You were fearfully and wonderfully made. Just ponder on that. You were FEARFULLY and WONDERFULLY made.

    1 John 4:18 – “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.”

    Many times we tend to look at our spouses and criticize because they do not love the way we want them to love us. We judge them because they are not measuring up to our standards.

    2 Tim. 1:7 – “For God hath not given us the spirit or fear; but of POWER, and of LOVE, and of a SOUND MIND.”

    You have the Lord’s power to get through any trials. Any Circumstances. His Holy Spirit will guide and direct you if you will allow. Father God is a gentleman. He will give you a choice. It is all up to you and He is right beside, in front of, or pushing you from the rears.

    Rom 8:38-39 – “For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

    Nothing can separate you from Father’s love. He loves you, GraceAlone, so much that even if you were the only person on this earth, He sent His Son to die for YOU.

    Once you can know that Father loves you, your love for your husband will come easier. You will do for your husband because of the love you have from the Lord and the desire to be obedient to Him. When you know you are loved, you can love freely.

    This is not an easy journey nor a short one. I have lived 54 years learning the ways of the world. Feminism!!! Can I be changed in a snap, yes. Father can do anything. However, I believe there are lessons to learn.

    Your husband loves you. Otherwise, he probably wouldn’t still be around. You can only change yourself. YOU ARE LOVED.

    Blessings!
    Kathy

    1. Kathy,
      Wow! Thank you so much! This ministered to me more than you know. I am learning how much my disrespect had such a HUGE affect on my marriage and my own self image! Thank you so much for your encouragement sweet friend!

  17. Reading this is helping me tremendously. My husband was recently released from prison after 11 years. I have no family and I’d come to depend on him – an unbeliever – way, way too much to the point that I’d made him an idol. God brought me to my knees and I learned what it meant to want Him more than anyone or anything in the world and it brought my husband closer to me. But since his release in the past month and a half ive been going through a living hell and I’m alone and have nohing and no one. if my husband even has a hint that I’m sad or down he gets agitated. he doesn’t want to touch me or compliment me at all. He’s nice and brings me coffee and kisses me very briefly when I leave or come home. but he’s cold. he’s on an ankle monitor so the only day we have is a few hours on sunday…the one time we had a date tospend time together he cancelled it because he forgot it was the first day of football season. I got so emotional over his lack of interest in me and our marriage I have almost no self control over my emotions. I’m never this way. just hysterically sobbing for hours in a walmart parking lot. he’s a good man and he wants a job but no one will hire a felon and he HATES that. being in prison for this long then being released is a huge adjustment. I completely understand everything but for some reason emotionally I feel abandoned and alone and I’m FURIOUS at him like it’s his fault. I don’t want to feel t hi s way. I’ve thrown myself at God’s feet and continuously beg him to deliver me from loving or wanting anything or anyone more than the Lord. this has been excruciating be c ause I can’t get past anger that I don’t e ven know the source of. but I honestly pray to the lord and admit to him that I cannot stand my husband. I tell him that I hate living with constant rejection and even more than that I hate that I’m so selfish. I’m brutally honest with my prayer and it truly feels like I’m barely holding on moment by moment. ive lived my whole life rejected and unwanted abmnd to know that living this way forever may be my future is too much for my flesh to accept when all I want is a hug or to know that just one person loves me. I want the hurt to go away and I don’t want to want love anymore. very slowly god is changing me. I beg sometimes all day in my head over and over for him to sustain me and help me hold on so I can have a relationship with him and stop focusing on me all the time. I just beg him to save me from myself to the point that im grinding my teeth trying to deny my self pity to grab on to jesus. I started counseling and I absolutely hate it but I’m forcing myself to go. in the interim all I ask is for god to take away my desire for my husband to change. I don’t even want to care if he does anymore and this morning I’ve found that I don’t hurt today the way I do every other day when I wake up and remember the way my marriage has become. A couple of years ago when I was learning how to pray for my husband and give my whole heart to the Lord is when He first showed me Ezekiel 36:26. I’d gotten to the point that I was ready to let go of my marriage and lose my husband forever – after he’d decided to divorce me and stop speaking to me. And I was praying for his safety and whatever future he was headed to even if it wasn’t with me. I asked the Lord to show me how to pray for my husband and this was the first verse of the next day in my bible study plan. My husband came back and now that he’s home it’s worse than it ever was before but we’re both holding on and somehow even in the worst emotional despair I’ve been through thus far in my life God is with us. I wish I had better words and it still hurts but I’m able to withstand the hurt and keep pressing on. I wish it was easier but it’s not. it’s excruciating. but the lord has given me the desire to not give up on my relationship with jesus above all and I can see in the tiniest ways that my husband hears the holy spirit and responds even if it’s not the way my flesh wants. thanks for helping me get through another day.

    1. Oh goodness, Mei!

      What an incredibly difficult situation. 🙁

      What kind of support system do you have? Do you have any godly women friends or mentors?

      Are the two of you receiving help as you both adjust to him being released from prison and the depression that may accompany that for him? Does he have a godly male friend or mentor or counselor?

      What is your relationship with Christ?

      What is his relationship with Christ?

      What is your counselor asking you to do?

      I encourage you to search my home page for these topics:

      – idol
      – idolatry
      – discontentment
      – contentment

      Is it possible your husband may be extremely depressed and feel like a failure as a man because he was in prison and now he can’t provide for you financially?

      What do you say to him and how to you respond when you are feeling so hurt and unloved and rejected?

      What were things like before your husband was in prison?

      What expectations did you talk about before he was released?

      I wish I could hug your neck!
      God is with you and He cares very much about your pain, your husband’s pain and your marriage.
      Much love to you!!!!!

My grandmother is on hospice and won't be with us much longer (11-30-16). I will get to comments when I am able to but I need to be with family right now. Thanks for understanding.

%d bloggers like this: