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“I Feel So Alone Spiritually in My Marriage”

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Here’s the honest truth, my precious sisters – we will ALL feel this way many times if we are looking to our husbands to meet our spiritual needs. Whether my husband is an unbeliever or he is a famous, godly pastor, I will face times – maybe even years or decades – of feeling like I am spiritually alone.

But here is the great news!!!!!

I’m never alone spiritually! Not when I have Christ Jesus!

Jesus promised, “Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5

Am I willing to lay down my expectations of my husband and let God work in my husband’s heart and life? Am I willing to  release my husband to God’s hands and His Spirit instead of trying to make my husband into a godly man myself? Am I willing to accept my husband as he is and where he is even if he does things differently than I want him to?

Truthfully, as long as I have Jesus Christ, I can be content with where I am and where my husband is.  I can be content in Christ – knowing He is working in me to conform me to be more and more like Himself and that He is working in my husband, too. His timetable may be a lot longer than mine – but that is okay.

For I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:11b-13

I AM NOT ALONE

I may not have the emotional and spiritual connection I long for with my husband – but God can give me much more emotional and spiritual connection than my husband ever could. Jesus alone can meet all of my deepest needs. If I am looking to my husband to meet my deep spiritual and emotional needs, I will always be disappointed. Even if my husband initiated prayer with me 3 times a day and does everything I think I want him to – he cannot fill me up! If I am looking to my husband for fulfillment and to meet my ultimate spiritual and emotional needs – I am not looking to Christ as I need to. He must be on the throne in my life! He alone is my Real Love and Real Life. He alone can connect with me emotionally and spiritually all the time. No human can do that! When I depend fully on Christ and look to Him alone, I will NEVER be disappointed!

I love the words of the hymn, “On Christ the Solid Rock I Stand” by Edward Mote

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

If I start looking to a person – my husband, a pastor, a friend, a mentor – any human – I will be in trouble! “I dare not trust the sweetest frame!” I must look only to Jesus, His blood, His truth, and His righteousness. He alone is my hope! He alone is my purpose, my identity, my peace, my joy, my power, my strength, my Lord!

You are not alone today, my precious sister (and brother), if you have Christ. I believe that Kari Jobe’s song below might be a great encouragement to you. I love to sing it out loud to my Lord.

I AM NOT ALONE  – BY KARI JOBE

62 thoughts on ““I Feel So Alone Spiritually in My Marriage”

    1. I thank Jesus for you and this post today.how I need to be reminded that all I need is Jesus in everything.I cannot change even a hair on my head!! let alone any one of my children or my dear husband.
      He is my all in all- if I humble myself before Him and allow Him to be in me. Thank you and much love to you April:)

  1. I was laying in bed last night so discouraged at how spiritually isolated I felt. Then I woke up to this post this morning. I am so convicted at my expectations and not looking to my Savior. I love your blog and am so grateful for your solid godly posts. It is wonderful to know there is somewhere to go in a time of discouragement that is rooted in the Word of God. Thank you for speaking truth. I hope you know what an incredible resource you are!!!

    1. Rachel,

      You are most welcome! How I long for everyone in the world to get to experience the Treasure that is in Christ Jesus!

      Much love to you, my dear sister! Be greatly encouraged!

      1. Betsy,

        You may also search my home page for “expectations” – there are quite a few posts about that!

        Also:
        – bitterness
        – fear
        – control
        – godly femininity
        – contentment
        – security

  2. I encourage any woman going through a difficult time to get the devotional “Streams in the Desert.” I have read it for many years and love it. Here is one example of its pearls of wisdom, “We must be willing to ‘consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus’ {Phil. 3:8}. Then once God is everything to us, so that ‘in Him we live and move and have our being’ {Acts 17:28}, the door to heaven will stand open before us as well.”

    1. April,
      Great post, as always. 🙂

      Lori,
      I agree, that’s a great little book!

      When my grief was still very fresh and raw after losing my mom, someone suggested I get a copy of the now out-of-print book by the same author, Mrs. Charles Cowman (I love how she was known by her husband’s name. A sweet reminder of days gone by!).

      It’s called “Consolation” and it wasn’t hard to find a used copy online.

      I got into a habit of creating a little colored pencil drawing in the margin above each entry I read. It became part of a comforting routine in my grief.

      Sometimes when I’m dusting off my books, I’ll flip through the pages to see the little drawing and I smile, realizing how God took me through those painful days and became more dear to me because of them.

      Boy, that was an off topic ramble….:)

    2. Hi Lori!! how encouraging!! I read that very same devotional every morning and I have the one before that too! “Springs in the Valley” Thank you for your encouragement today Lori! have a beautiful day!

  3. Amazing! Ma’am, I just read the titile and decided to comment. I’m so blessed to have found your blog a few weeks ago. The Holy Spirit is ALL IN you! Thank you for following Him. (Now I have to go read the your blog! Love it!

  4. Was just thinking about these things. Was considering how I might use the position of secretary some wives have taken in finances as my position in religious education/tools with husband as spiritual director overall. My concern has been how to teach my children about spiritual matters while not usurping the authority of my spouse. I’m still having difficulty following my husband’s directions and ambiguity. I’m seeking to come to a place of acceptance for where we are now – not letting that stunt my own spiritual growth and still honoring how God uses my husband to lead us. This has been a lonely walk. I miss all those meaty conversations about God in our earlier days but I treasure my own journey. This song is lovely. I could play it over and over along with Hillsong United’s ‘Oceans Where Feet May Fail’.

  5. Great post. I spent the day pretty much by myself going to church and then to a park so I could sit in the sun, catch up on reading, praying, and most importantly listening to God. I know so well the feeling of spiritual emptiness in marriage. My marriage is in a critical point due to my failings as a wife. This blog has helped me see so clearly how much work I need to do to be able to gain my husbands trust back and treat him with respect. He is at a point in our marriage where staying angry and holding on to ill feelings towards me is a better option for him.

    I have always looked to him for approval and security. Right now he has nothing to give me spiritually or emotionally and he may never again. I HAVE to find what I need to fill me up spiritually and emotionally from God. He has to be my rock. Not the things I idolize, in this case my husband.

    Going through this process of letting go and REALLY , REALLY, REALLY trusting God is scary. Will I do anything to hand my husband over to God? Yikes.

    I would like to know how other wives have handled situations where there husbands have checked out on being the spiritual head of the household. My family’s church life has fallen apart since my husband asked for a divorce last July.

    Love this blog. Peaceful wife, you have helped me a ton.

    1. Betsy, I’m so so sorry. I am going through a very similar situation only my husband isn’t a believer. Hugs to you dear sister.

      1. NE…my husband is a believer, yet I have not seen him read his bible, devotional, or do anything to strengthen his walk with God. He may be connecting when he is at work. At home, the TV is always going a,ways on sports. He spends his time there, not with me or with God. My heart breaks. Hugs to you as well.

        1. Betsy,

          Your description of your husband sounds a lot like Greg when I began this journey.

          Perhaps you might like to see what he was thinking during that time he was so shut down. You can search my home page for:
          – When She Surrendered
          – Interview with My Husband

          Greg believed me all those times when I said he was not as spiritually mature as I was and he decided I was right and he couldn’t be close to God. The more negative I was, the more critical, the more disrespectful, the more Greg unplugged from God and from me. He really couldn’t hear God’s voice when I started this journey. All he could hear was my condemning, accusing, resentful, disrespectful voice.

          But, the good news is that as God empowered me to stop those negative things, he said it was like someone took the static off of the speaker with God’s voice on it in his heart. And then when I began to fumble with trying to be genuinely respectful and biblically submissive, he said it was like someone put an amplifier on the speaker with God’s voice in his heart.

          This journey is painful and difficult. It is excruciatingly slow most of the time. But it is the path to the most joy in Christ for us – and the greatest chance for our husbands to be able to hear God clearly, as well.

          Much love!

    2. I’m pretty much in the same place you are Betsy. My husband has become so hardened. I wish I could say that I have all the answers to make it easier but I don’t. Life with an angry, shut down man is just plain difficult. It plays with your mind and emotions and health. I mostly wrestle with what it means to submit to a man like this…so much confusion and guilt. Anyway, for me, the imperatives are daily reading scripture and prayer. I also read lots of Christian books (and novels for some fun), listen to podcasts, attend church (it is unspeakably painful to see loving couples all around but I’m always glad I go), meet with other Christian women, listen to Christian music, and live each day with an eternal perspective…doing the right thing day after day and staying in the marriage for the glory of God matters. Essentially, I saturate my heart and mind with the Lord moment by moment! Know that you are loved and not alone!

      1. Me too Danielle. I am doing the same as you. This morning I am feeling like I could scream at him, but I have done that many times. The result is more distanc and hearts that harden.

        I continue to care for him by acts of service….clean clothes, fresh coffee in the morning, keep the house picked up, but him his favorite food items, keep our family schedule going, and pay him one compliment a day. I rarely, if ever, get anything back from him. This morning when he left for work, I said” I love you” and got a strange look from him. Don’t I feel punished? You betcha. I too am learning to live each day from an eternal perspective. I have been living each day for many many years in a Betsy perspective. This commitment to change me is HARD, HARD, HARD.The good news is that me, you, and many are not alone in this journey.

        It is like learning how to live without a drink, one day, one minute at a time.

      2. Danielle,

        YES! Abiding in Christ, praising God, thanking God, prayer, and clinging to Christ and to His promises are all completely essential to getting through this painful fiery trial.

        Praying for you, my sweet sister – for healing for you and your husband and for God to restore your marriage to be what He desires it to be for His glory!

        Thank you so much for sharing. 🙂

      3. You are so right Danielle about how our mind, emotions, and health are affected. I can’t begin to count the times past and present where I have had to ask people if they see me as crazy, a bad mother, inappropriate,etc. I still to this day question my reality because of all the criticism spoken and unspoken received from my husband. Each day that goes by when there is no compliment, acknowledgment, a thank you feels like criticism. Living this way is confusing on many levels. It is punishment.

        1. Betsy,

          I can definitely feel your pain! It can feel like no compliments means criticism. But, please do keep in mind that some men just don’t give many compliments – and it doesn’t necessarily mean they are critical of the things you are doing. I know I have to be careful not to assume evil motives just because my husband thinks differently from me. Especially if we have been idolizing our husbands, as you mentioned that you have done – we become this black hole of endless need and we can be insatiable. Many husbands eventually stop trying to meet our needs, because they realize it is impossible.

          There is also the issue that your husband may just not be super verbal. He may not show love with words. But that doesn’t mean he is necessarily rejecting you or criticizing you.

          I hope that makes sense.

          Praying for God’s strength and wisdom for you!

      4. I would be cautious about believing that in church you are surrounded by “loving couples all around.” People are very, very good at putting on a “church face” on Sundays. Some of those very couples are planning to see lawyers on Monday and are just holding it together for now. Other “loving couples” are committed to image management, and sweep conflict under the rug rather than face it. And I personally know of several couples that appeared loving in church, only to find out one or the other was currently involved in an affair while appearing loving in church. Do not compare your lot to others. You don’t know what is going on in their houses the other six days of the week. That is just another version of the grass is always greener. Actually, it could also be considered coveting.

        1. Marked Wife,

          Excellent point! Many people imagine that everyone around them is happy. That is probably not true. There are many hurts and painful things that people hide at church and in public.

          Very wise advise!!

          Thank you so much for this!

    3. Betsy,

      I think that almost all of the women here on this blog know the feeling of spiritual loneliness. But that is kind of a neat thing, really – because I think we can encourage one another and walk beside each other on this road – and remind one another to look to Christ for our deepest needs to be met.

      I know that this part is REALLY painful for you and for your husband. But I am so excited about what God is already doing in you just since you began commenting here. When your husband fails you – and all husbands will – it forces you to learn to depend on Christ. That is actually a VERY GOOD THING!

      I know that learning to trust God feels so out of control and scary at first. It feels like jumping off of a big spiritual cliff with no net. But I am so glad that you see what you need to do. This is a process. There is wrestling and there are baby steps. As we allow God to work in our hearts, He knows how to transform us to be more like Jesus. We serve such a good God! He won’t allow us to find contentment, rest, joy, or peace in anything or anyone but Himself. Because those things are only found in Him.

      My husband never asked for a divorce, but he was very checked out of our marriage and parenting for years. When I began this journey – he was at a point where he barely looked at me, barely touched me, and wouldn’t hardly acknowledge me if I tried to talk to him. His pain was very severe. I sure wish he had confronted me about my sin 14 years earlier instead of allowing me to go on and on destroying him and our marriage unknowingly. But God did heal our marriage. It took 3.5 years into my journey of faith in Christ and learning to become a godly wife for Greg to feel safe with me again.

      You may want to search my home page search bar for:

      – loneliness
      – lonely
      – separation paradox
      – waiting becomes sweet
      – husband won’t lead
      – husband shut down
      – when your husband says, “I’m Done”

      Much love to you!

  6. This took the words right out of my heart. I am so guilty of this right now. I say that shamefully, but I am thankful for this post because it made me have a new perspective. I absolutely love your blog! Thank you April and I will be praying and working on this.

  7. Thank u ma’ma for this great post.. I thank God for using you to retore many broken marriage.. Am in peace with my husband now but am still having littel challenges, he stay out late and drinks alcohol much. Please I need your prayers too. Thanks

    1. Esther,

      I pray for God’s wisdom and power for you, my dear sister! And for His healing for your husband and your marriage.

      How severe is the drinking?

      Do you have spiritual support?

      How is your walk going with Christ?

      How may we pray for you?

      Much love and the biggest hug to you!
      April

  8. This isn’t a comment on this post but rather on the change of backgrounds. I really like it. However, the comments section must be white or blue because the number of comments no longer shows up on the Blog timeline I can click on it, but I cannot really see it. Can you put it in black or something? I check to see if there are additional comments to read. Thanks.

  9. Here are my questions as a man:

    1) I am unclear as to what is meant by “spiritual loneliness.” Perhaps if someone could describe it like this:

    My husband does thisbut I WISH he’d do this = no more spiritual loneliness.

    2) Also, how do you differentiate between spiritual loneliness and emotional loneliness; is that the same thing to women in general? As I read some of the above comments, it seems like the two were being equated.

    1. Ladies,

      I am about to answer ProphetDavidTaylor – but for some of you, my answer is going to be a trigger. Some of you may not want to read this, and may just want to continue to focus on Christ or on the post a few weeks ago about how we wish our husbands would pray with us more – and what we discovered in the Bible about that expectation.

      ProphetDavidTaylor,

      I believe that most women who feel “spiritually alone” in their marriages feel that way because their husbands don’t and maybe won’t pray with them or read Scripture with them. Or they feel that they cannot talk to their husbands about spiritual things they are learning or they may feel that their husbands wouldn’t be open to receiving prayer requests. There also may not be any talking on the husband’s part about spiritual plans or spiritual growth or the spiritual training of the children. These things could also cause a wife to feel alone spiritually. They also tend to cause a wife to feel like she is “the more spiritually mature one,” even if that is not actually true.

      If we don’t feel that we can verbally communicate about our deepest emotions and spiritual things with our husbands, we tend to feel disconnected.

      Of course, there is some degree to which, we can never feel completely connected spiritually and emotionally to our husbands, not to the degree we can be one and connected with Christ. Sometimes our loneliness comes because we are idolizing our husbands and expecting them to meet God-sized needs in our hearts. And sometimes the loneliness is just because of lack of verbal communication about spiritual things with our husbands.

      In my view, many wives do tend to lump feeling emotionally connected and feeling spiritually connected together.

      But ladies, if anyone has another viewpoint you’d like to share, I am all ears!

      1. Question 1:
        I believe that most women who feel “spiritually alone” in their marriages feel that way because:

        -their husbands don’t and maybe won’t pray with them or read Scripture with them.
        -Or they feel that they cannot talk to their husbands about spiritual things they are learning
        -or they may feel that their husbands wouldn’t be open to receiving prayer requests
        -There also may not be any talking on the husband’s part about spiritual plans or spiritual growth
        -or the spiritual training of the children

        Oh okay, those details helped me to understand. You’re talking here about clear spiritual leadership and headship, and having the man take point in spiritual training of the family. So basically then the loneliness stems from a husband not fulfilling his High Priest and Pastoral call to his family.

        Then here, you talk about things where perhaps the wives themselves are out of balance:

        -We can never feel completely connected spiritually and emotionally to our husbands,
        not to the degree we can be one and connected with Christ.
        -we are idolizing our husbands and expecting them to meet God-sized needs in our hearts.
        -lack of verbal communication about spiritual things with our husbands.

        So I read that as the deep female need to feel close, be at one with their husbands, but how sometimes that can slide over into idolatry. And also how as men, we don’t have the same need to verbalize, and speak any plans out loud, or verbally give direction, and how that is key to women feeling the connection that they need. I understand that, by the way, as many men won’t even *talk* about spiritual things in any way, like, they don’t even want to broach the subject.

        Question 2:
        In my view, many wives do tend to lump feeling emotionally connected and feeling spiritually connected together.

        The common word there for me is connection, and I again I hear that very real and pressing female/wife need.

        I can offer some insight on the subject.

        -Many men don’t actually know their spiritual responsibilities in a marriage
        -Many men see no value in spirituality
        -Men in general, if they’re not good at or knowledgeable about something, want to avoid it altogether

        So it’s one of those things where, pre-marital Pastoral or Prophetic counseling needs to include a clear template for the prospective husband of his spiritual responsibilities, as well as the wife for her spiritual role in the family. If not, people often grow apart over time. In my own experience, I’ve seen countless women coming to church alone, over and over again, many of them married; yet we never see their husbands.

        1. PS, ProphetDavidTaylor,

          On question two, I believe wives feel connected emotionally by talking about feelings. There can be a lot of overlap in our minds, many times, about spiritual things and emotional things. Maybe that is different with men, which may make the connection of the two more difficult, perhaps?

          1. Yes, that’s very different with men.
            We always have to stop and *think* about how we feel about any given subject, and in our minds, how we feel doesn’t have a lot to do with anything. Much of life is in the *doing.*

            God has to constantly work with us as men to remind us that it all matters to Him; quality of relationship, obedience, motivation….men don’t generally tune into those things, even with God.

            So men don’t place nearly the same value in emotions in general, so I can see how, if the wife needs that connection daily, it can be really frustrating for her. And, often women take that personally, as if a man is deliberately “holding back” his emotions or something, and it’s not that way at all.

            When females process their spiritual lives, or generally any area of their lives, they tend to process it through how they feel about it.

            When men process their spiritual lives, or generally any area of our lives, we tend to process it through what we think about it, and what actions need to be taken to accomplish goals. Which is again why so many men struggle to find value in spiritual things, because they don’t see a direct benefit in investing in them.

          2. ProphetDavidTaylor,

            I really think we are on to an important issue here, my brother! Lightbulbs are going off all over the place for me as I continue to read your insights. Thank you, thank you for sharing!

            I was intrigued when you asked the ladies to define “spiritual loneliness.” I had never really imagined not knowing what that was – not since I have been married, at least. What a good thing for us to define this and then to hear a masculine perspective on it. In fact, I talked with Greg a good bit about it this evening. And it is interesting to me that what he said and what you are saying line up a good bit.

            Several of your statements have really jumped out at me:

            – how we feel doesn’t have a lot to do with anything
            – men don’t generally tune into (quality of relationship, obedience, motivation) even with God
            – men aren’t deliberately holding back their emotions
            – men don’t see a direct benefit in investing in spiritual things

            From my understanding of women:
            – How we feel is VERY important. Sharing how we feel about things verbally and hearing how others feel about things verbally = intimacy to us. (Of course, the down side to this is that we may place too much emphasis on feelings. They can become the most important thing to us at times, and that is not a good thing.)
            – The greatest joy in our lives – for many of us – is emotional/spiritual connection with people and with God.
            – We definitely tune into the quality of relationships. The issues of obedience and motivation – that probably comes only with spiritual maturity and the Holy Spirit speaking to us. We can be blind to these issues at times, or ignore them, just like men can.
            – I am pretty sure that many women think that men are purposely holding back their emotions just to torture us. I know I seriously used to think this earlier in our marriage – now I know this isn’t true, but I think many women need to hear this.
            – I wonder why sometimes men don’t see a direct benefit in investing in spiritual things? There are rewards in heaven, and there are spiritual blessings on earth and spiritual abundant life to enjoy. Is it that they haven’t seen “real Christianity” or experienced God’s peace, joy, and love themselves?

            Goodness, our priorities and how we measure and experience intimacy is SO different as men and as women. How we think and see life and process emotions and thoughts – so completely different. No wonder there are so many problems in communication!

            Obviously, men and women are all sinners. And we all have weak areas. I believe that God gave husbands and wives different strengths and weaknesses to build and strengthen the marriage and family and to help us all to become more holy. The more I learn about how men think, the more I realize that so many of the misunderstandings between husbands and wives are about very different paradigms, expectations, and perspectives – often the difference between a masculine viewpoint and a feminine viewpoint.

            So many things I used to assume Greg was doing with “evil” or sinful motives – I assumed the worst. I know now that most of the time, I just didn’t understand how different he is from me. Once I understand the way he looks at life and at specific issues, it is actually pretty easy to extend grace and mercy. Now, when I don’t understand why he does something that I don’t agree with, I try to remember that I may just not understand his way of looking at life with that issue yet. Now, I can assume the best and look forward to learning and understanding more about his world.

            That is what I want to do for my sisters in Christ – empower them to be able to understand their husbands more accurately – and I think you have just illuminated something for us that is extremely critical for us to understand!

            I would love to hear any other insights you or our other brothers may have on this issue – I think we may need a post about this one.

            In Him,
            April

          3. Another insight that I will share quickly is why men generally are so resistant to counseling.

            It’s because counseling has at least three elements that are completely repugnant to men:

            1) Failure – When a wife asks a husband to go to counseling, what a man hears is that he failed; in his wife’s eyes, he’s not a good or adequate husband or father. Many times that is not what women are saying at all; women are often saying “we need help in working on our relationship” but that is not how men perceive it. Men think, “I must have failed or else she wouldn’t be saying that we need to go talk to somebody else about this.” And whenever a man thinks or feels like a failure, he will dig his heels in and shut down.

            2) Submission – Men see counseling as, “My wife drug me here to have a total stranger tell me what to do.” Nothing could be more repulsive to a man. That’s why men resist the very idea of counseling, as well as the advice given if they do go. Men don’t like to submit, not even to God, it’s why Jacob wrestled with the angel, and Moses ran from his calling, and Paul needed such a dramatic conversion. We don’t like the idea of submitting to anything or anyone, and just the idea of “a complete stranger trying to tell ME how I should be a husband” will send men into an unrestrained fury state.

            3) Opening Up – While women are basically designed by God to share, men are not. THEE LAST thing in the world that men want to do is talk about our feelings, because we are designed to solve problems, not focus on emotions. So the idea of baring my soul to again, a total stranger, and sharing embarrassing details in front of the wife will send most men in the opposite direction.

          4. This is extremely accurate. Especially Point #1. To men, when marriages reach the point of Counseling, they have already shut down and are in survival mode – thus not being able to emotionally handle any more knocks. By this point, men likely already feel like a failure…. and are reminded of that daily by the coldness that they feel they receive from their wife. Men also don’t do well with the Unexpected. We don’t like to be surprised. The idea of counseling threatens to embarrass us.

            In many cases, husbands have endured very critical attitudes, and many wives resulting to extending those criticisms to many other women under the guise of “Trusted/Safe Friends”. Unfortunately, much of this criticism always seems to make it from these “Trusted/Safe Friends”, around to others, and eventually, back to the husband. This is very embarrassing for him….as most men are very private at their core. They feel betrayed, by this point.

            Marriage is such a shining example of what we’d be like without Jesus to bridge the gap. Husbands and Wives eventually find out that they are hopelessly different – without the rescue and love of a Perfect Savior.

            In closing, like John Piper has said, always remember that this struggle you face in your marriage is NOT meaningless. It’s doing something, in light of Eternity. It’s working for you, in eternal weight. Do_Not_Lose_Heart.

      2. I agree with everything you say. I put my husband up on a pedestal from the first day I met him and he has become my God. I have always believed that what he says is the gospel, and have not had the courage to stand up for myself. So I turned to disrespectful actions to cope.

        I miss the emotional and spiritual connection. I am one of the wives that sits alone. It wasn’t always that way. We had a good church family and our boys grew up in our church, then we started to crumble and so did our church life and the spirit of family.

        I pray that God does mighty things for all of us in this group. I am beyond thankful that one of my sisters in Christ sent me the link to peaceful wife.

  10. In your post you said:
    ” Whether my husband is an unbeliever or he is a famous, godly pastor,”

    Really? You think it applies to even godly pastors?

    Its just cause when I read posts like this i cannot help but feel like I shouldnt be in a relationship with a new believer so that i wont feel “spiritually alone”.

    Are my standards lowered by being with a new believer? not being with someone who I can have spiritual conversations with?

    Im feeling so frustrated at the moment!! I was trying to have a conversation with my boyfriend and his responses are so few! like “yes” “that’s true” “i agree”.

    Help 🙁 please process with me 🙁

    1. heart,

      Read the story of Ruth Bell Graham. Her husband, Billy Graham, was gone most of the time on evangelism crusades. She was left alone to raise the children and care for the home and handle things herself. She knew that would be the case going in and she supported her husband’s calling. But couldn’t a wife feel lonely in such a situation?

      Or, consider a pastor’s wife in a church. He is away all day at work, then he is at deacon’s meetings, prayer meetings, business meetings, and visiting the sick and those who are troubled. Many pastors’ wives don’t see their husbands much. Very few pastors pray with their wives.

      (For more on this issue in general, please check out the post, “I Wish My Husband Would Pray with Me More.” and for more about the loneliness pastors wives feel at times, please read the comments on this post. And read Pastors Are Human, Too.)

      There will be challenges with a newer believer. There will be the temptation to feel that you are more spiritually mature – but that temptation will probably be there with older believers, too.

      I think the greater issue is – how is your walk with Christ going? And what is He calling you to do? Are you looking to your boyfriend to be your main source of spiritual fulfillment, or are you looking completely to Christ? Where is your hope? Where is your trust? What are your expectations? How is God leading you?

      Much love to you!

      1. That’s very true! Yes, i heard about the story of Ruth Bell Graham.

        Actually, i have Gods blessing in my relationship. I’ve sought the Lord and continue to seek the Lord’s guidance.

        Whenever I feel discouraged God would always tell me to press on and to not grow weary in doing good. I know i am where God wants me to be.

        Even my family is supportive of me staying in the relationship and to not get discouraged just because I dont get the responses or changes in my boyfriends life.

        The Holy Spirit reminds me that my relationship with God is between me and Him and my growth is not dependent on another person.

        On good days, i feel very secure and relaxed that God is sovereign and that ultimately it is Him who will work in my boyfriend’s life.

        But on bad days, i feel very pressured to be in a relationship where i dont have to feel worried about my partners spiritual life.

        I feel like i have to defend my relationship to christians who have very strong opinions on a man being more established in the christian faith.

        I mean is it really possible for God to lead a woman of faith to be with a man who is not a man of faith? I’ve always thought that if you are a strong woman of faith, God will automatically lead you to a man of the same spiritual caliber. if you ended up with someone less, it would mean the woman lowered her standards or became disobedient to God.

        I’ve been learning a lot from you through your blog but i still feel like theres a disconnect in my understanding of how things work.

        Forgive me if im not able to properly articulate my feelings but i hope you sort of understand.

        thank you for taking the time!

  11. This post really hit home for me. Especially the comment by ProphetDavidTaylor about men “being designed to solve problems and not figure out emotions.” Why did it take me so long to figure that out? It explains so much.

  12. These Christian marriage blogs are always so depressing.

    -11 Ways to meet your husband’s every sex need!
    -7 Ways to not be offended when he gropes your boob and demeans you as a woman
    -13 Ways to survive of the crumbs of attention your husband may deign to throw your way

    Why is it that so many Christians advice people say that women’s needs for connection and affection are unreasonable and idolatrous and can only be met by God, but men’s sex needs are THE REALEST THING ON EARTH!@!!!! The next time my husband says he’s feeling frisky, I think I’ll tell him he needs to take that to the Lord and leave me alone.

    1. elane,

      I’m so sorry you are feeling very discouraged! And I sure hope that this is not the kind of message you are really taking from my posts!!

      The idea here is to be able to try to understand our husbands better and to be able to extend grace – which is something husbands should be doing, as well.

      I don’t write for men – so I don’t talk about what they should do. But all believers, men and women, are to focus on Christ first, and are to die to self (which is painful – but produces blessings when we are in Christ), and are to be sure we are not putting other things above Christ. Husbands can make things into idols, too. Sex, respect, marriage, their wives, money, career, power, fitness, etc… “The human heart is an idol factory” – John Calvin. If I am putting anything ahead of Christ in my heart – whether I am a man or a woman – that is idolatry and it is sin. I think the most common idol in our culture today is happiness – probably for men and for women. As women, it is easy for us to put things like happiness, romance, our feelings, our husbands, emotional connection, and our marriage above Christ and not even realize that we are doing that. My focus, as a believer in Christ, will be best when I am putting Christ way above all else in my life and when I am able to hold everything in this world loosely rather than demanding or forcing the things I want. I hope that makes sense. God doesn’t condone anyone forcing another person to meet his/her needs – even if they are legitimate. (Boundaries and Control)

      Husbands are to treat their wives with respect and honor, too. They are to be available to their wives sexually, that is a command for husbands and wives – I Cor. 7:1-5. Husbands are to be gentle with their wives and not harsh, that is also a command – I Peter 3:7. And husbands are to love their wives selflessly and unconditionally as Christ loves the church and gave Himself for her, another command – Eph. 5:22-33.

      The problem is – as wives, we can’t control our husbands. We only control ourselves. I know for me, I personally spent the first 14.5 years of our marriage trying to control our husband and trying to force him to do what I wanted him to do. All I did was repel him. But as I stopped trying to control him and make him pay attention to me and force him to be the husband I wanted to be – God began to work in him, slowly, and, in time – he became much more the man God desired him to be. My trying to control him really messed things up in our marriage and even in his relationship with God. Sometimes someone has to be the first one to begin meeting the other spouse’s needs, even when our own needs are not being met when things are tense. That can be a really painful time – but it can also be a time of tremendous spiritual growth and intimacy with Christ as we discover the sufficiency of Christ Jesus.

      Our needs as women are not “unreasonable and idolatrous” – necessarily. Sometimes they are. It depends what we are doing and how high we have our needs in our hearts. If we are truly expecting our husbands to meet the deepest needs of our souls – only God can do that. No husband can ever meet our deepest spiritual needs or even our need for complete connection all the time. And no wife can ever meet her husband’s deepest spiritual needs. If we expect our husbands to do things for us that only Jesus can do for us – that is a big problem. I used to do this. It was painful for me and for my husband.

      It is good to ask for what you need. Your needs are as legitimate as your husband’s needs are. You can ask for the things you want respectfully. But then – it is important not to try to force your husband to do what you want him to do. That is where our needs begin to become a problem. You can’t control him. And he can’t control you. He can ask you for what he wants, but he can’t force you to give him what he wants from you. God has given each of us a free-will. Thankfully, in Christ, wives (and husbands) can be content no matter what our spouse is or is not doing for us (Phil. 4:12-13).

      Example:
      If you are feeling truly unloved and it is difficult for you to give yourself to your husband sexually because you feel so ignored – it’s fine to say, “I’d really love to have about 20 minutes of talking and emotional connecting first, that would really help me to get in the mood for sex.”

      I have a post for wives who are experiencing the excruciating pain of sexual rejection – in marriage, which is a lot more common than many people think it is.

      If your husband is groping you and you don’t like it – there are respectful ways to share what you would prefer – that we can talk about if you are interested.

      How is your walk with Christ going? He is the only One who can give you real joy, peace, and fulfillment in this life. And you can have all of that spiritual abundance in Jesus right now – even in your current situation, whatever that may be.

      Would you like to talk about what is going on in your marriage a bit more? I’d be glad to hash through some things with you and pray with you, my precious sister. I’m so sorry things are so hard right now.

      Much love to you!
      April

  13. I’m really not much of a Christian anymore. I like the “love thy neighbor” and sermon on the mount parts, but frankly have no use for the rest of it. Grew up evangelical though. My current hubby is agnostic and is a pretty decent fella, but my ex was a Christian and he was a jerkwad. Glad to be rid of him.

    I get that it’s mostly women writing these Christian marriage blogs, so the advice skews heavily towards women. that’s a shame, in my opinion, it doesn’t seem like Christan men get much direction other than “love your wives as Christ loved the Church”, with no explicit description of what that looks like, so naturally THEY get to decide what that looks like. How convenient for them.

    I know a woman whose Christian husband moved their family into a shack in the middle of nowhere with no running water or electricity. Living in squalor isn’t a good idea, perhaps, but it’s not a sin, so she didn’t think she had a right to say no. She lived like that, in misery, for years. Her husband eventually started molesting her daughters, but by then she was so beaten down emotionally and brainwashed that she still wouldn’t leave. The girls actually had to run away to get away from him.

    I’m reading some of the comments from other women on your blog married to Christian husbands who neglect, are verbally cruel, are making them do all the heavy lifting in the marriage. It’s heartbreaking! In my opinion, they don’t need to learn how to respect better, or submit better, or pray harder- they need a good divorce lawyer on speed dial. Life is just too short for that baloney.

    I think it’s great that you explicitly state you’re against rape and abuse, but the fact that that even needs to be said (because it’s not a given in Christian circles) is pretty dang sad. I gotta say, I’ve found a heck of a lot more peace and freedom -and safety- outside of Christ that within. But to each her own.

    1. Elane,

      I’m really sorry to hear what a miserable experience you have had. I think we may have different definitions going on of what it means to be a Christian. Would you mind sharing what you believe a “Christian” is? Then maybe we can be sure we are on the same page. 🙂

      There are a lot of people who call themselves Christians, but who do not live for God, trust Him, obey Him, or submit to Him. That doesn’t mean they are Christians – I hope we might both agree to that.

      There are resources for men, too. Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood is for both men and women – edited by John Piper and Wayne Grudem. Love and Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs is for men and women. Grace Filled Marriage by Tim Kimmel is for men and women. The Christian Marriage Bloggers Association has many blogs – some for men, some for women. Men have much greater accountability and responsibility before God in their marriages than wives do. God never gives them a free pass to mistreat, abuse, or hurt their wives or children.

      The man you are describing – I am not familiar with. So I cannot say whether he is a Christian or not. But – if there is a man who is not in his right mind, or who is a criminal, or who abuses his wife or children – a wife needs to get help and may need to leave, depending on the severity of the situation.

      Unfortunately, there are many sinners in this world. Some of them don’t know God at all – even though they say they do. Sinners tend to hurt other people. We all desperately need Christ and His Spirit’s power to transform us from wretched sinners to godly, holy people. That is what Christianity is supposed to do – transform us to know God and to become more like Him. If we are comfy in our sin, we probably don’t know God (I John 3).

      I have a lot of people who don’t know Christ who read my blog – so it is necessary to put disclaimers up against rape and abuse. I don’t know any godly man who would do such things. But there are some men who say they know God but the only verses they quote in the Bible are the verses about wives submitting to their husbands and they ignore every other verse in the Bible. Obviously, following Christ involves dying to self, loving God, loving other people with God’s love, and treating people with dignity and respect.

      I hope you will read long enough to see the comments where many wives who were deeply hurting in their marriages are experience God’s healing for themselves and then begin to see His healing in their husbands and marriages, as well. It breaks my heart to read about the pain that exists in so many marriages – but our God is a God of healing and He has healed many marriages here.

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

      Much love to you! I pray that you might find the abundant life that Christ died to provide for you – and that you might have eternal life – which means – to know God and to love Him with all your heart!

  14. I enjoy reading your blog and the many comments that other women and men share. I always wondered when I saw married couples in the church being so attentive and loving, was this real. I would often think I was horrible because I argued or had moments in my marriage, , but as I got close to these couples, what I saw in the homes was not what I witnessed at church. What this made me realize was that I was not along. Other couples argue, other couples have their moments. I think if more couples were transparent about who they really are in their marriages, rather than trying to live up to an unreal appearance, others would benefit and go into marriages with real expectations instead of fairytale dreams. I too am grateful to Christ Jesus for helping me to focus on him and not on my husband fulfilling all my needs, and also trying to become more like my savior than maintaining the broken person that I was. I love Jesus and would do anything for him, because he sacrificed so much for me. Many of us are self-centered and cannot see who we really are because we measure ourselves by the wrong yardstick. Jesus has never failed anyone, but we have definitely failed him. Love is sacrificial, give and take, and wants to fulfill the desires of others, instead of focus on “Self”. I am so blessed to be a part of the Kingdom of God and recognize who I am in Christ. I pray one day to impact others to identify with Christ and not the World in regards to what marriage truly is. Happy ever after, won’t happen until One Loves Like Jesus, “Unconditionally”. If we asked God who our spouse should be instead of picking him out ourselves, perhaps that would deter so many horrible experiences in marriages. I wonder how many women acknowledged God for their spouses? I have now been married to the same man for 43 years, I can’t say I have arrived, but I am a work in progress and now enjoying the journey.

    1. Ora,

      How I praise God for what He is doing in your life!!! Thank you VERY much for sharing, my dear sister! I hope you will continue to share the insights God gives you. 🙂 Love it!

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.

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