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Healthy VS. Unhealthy Relationships

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Where are people not permitted to say what they need, how they feel, or what they think?

– those who are literally slaves or who are in concentration camps.
– those in extremely oppressive countries with totalitarian regimes.
– those who are in abusive or dysfunctional relationships/families.

Here are some hallmarks of abusive/dysfunctional personal relationships:

  • It is not okay to talk about your negative feelings. Only positive emotions are allowed.
  • I am responsible for your decisions, obedience to God, sins, and emotions.
  • You are responsible for my decisions, obedience to God, sins, and emotions.
  • It is your job to make me happy. If I am not happy, it’s your fault.
  • Conflict is unacceptable.
  • Disagreement is not allowed.
  • You may not ask me questions or confront sin in my life. I can confront you whenever I want to, of course.
  • You are not safe here emotionally.
  • Your voice is not important to me.
  • I love conditionally with strings attached. If you don’t perform, I won’t love you.
  • You better put me above everything and everyone else, including God. Pleasing me better be the most important thing in your life.
  • I will not respect any healthy boundaries you try to set with me and will be offended if you attempt to have healthy boundaries.
  • You are accountable to me for everything you do, think, and say.
  • I know what is best for you.
  • I am always right and you are always wrong if you disagree with me.
  • You should be afraid of my disapproval more than anything or anyone else.
  • There is no forgiveness here. I cherish bitterness.
  • I expect you to meet spiritual and emotional needs in my soul that really only Christ can meet. I come into this relationship as a black hole of neediness.

Some hallmarks of healthy relationships (these would be the goals as we seek to allow God’s Spirit to refine and sanctify us):

  • It is okay to talk about anything and to share all of your feelings about anything – even if they are negative.
  • We will work through conflict together. Conflict is inevitable. We won’t always agree. But we will always love each other and work through it as a team.
  • Conflict is an opportunity for growth.
  • I love you unconditionally.
  • You are safe here in every way.
  • We are kind to each other.
  • We treat each other well.
  • Love and respect are abundant here in both directions.
  • You are important to me. You are precious and very valuable.
  • Your ideas, feelings, concerns, and desires are important to me.
  • You are responsible for your own emotions, decisions, obedience to God, and sins.
  • I am responsible for my own emotions, decisions, obedience to God, and sins.
  • If I am not happy, it is my own responsibility to take care of my emotions and to voice what I need.
  • Healthy boundaries are respected and encouraged.
  • We each know we can respectfully confront sin in the other’s life when necessary.
  • We expect each of us to put God way above anyone else or anything else. Pleasing God is the most important thing in life.
  • We know we are all ultimately accountable to God for how we treat each other.
  • We are each free to respectfully confront each other about sin in our lives when necessary. We will work together as a team against sin and the enemy.
  • We trust that God knows what is best for each of us and we each want to seek Him individually and together.
  • We approach each other with humility.
  • There is no fear in this family – only love.
  • Grace, mercy,  forgiveness, and second chances are available here.
  • I have Christ on the throne of my heart and He meets the deepest spiritual and emotional needs of my life. I come into this relationship overflowing with spiritual abundance from Jesus.

GOD’S “MOST EXCELLENT WAY” OF LOVE – I Corinthians 13:

If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part,  but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

 

 

 

RESOURCES (please carefully evaluate any author’s words, including mine, against Scripture!):

Boundaries – by Henry Cloud and John Townsend

How to Handle Toxic and Critical People – by Leslie Vernick free PDF download

www.leslievernick.com – She has a number of Christian books about handling difficult relationships, including marriage

Control and Boundaries

 

 

78 thoughts on “Healthy VS. Unhealthy Relationships

  1. I think it’s a great list, as long as people keep it flexible and realize these are guidelines that provide a rough estimate of what healthy versus unhealthy looks like. A spouse for instance, is never going to fully master the art of unconditional love. Feelings need to be shared, but feelings are not always going to be welcomed and embraced. There’s a quote I really like about leadership that says, “leadership is a launching pad, not a lid”. One seeks control and a closed down system, the other allows for freedom and encouragement.

  2. Thank you for this post. I’m afraid my husband falls under the unhealthy list. I have gotten to the point that I do not talk to him other than what is necessary to function in daily life. I am walking on eggshells never knowing what will set him off. I commented on another article about when I found the courage to apologize for a long standing issue that was my fault, he blew up at me and accused me of being insincere and untrustworthy. I am beginning to see that he blames women for his problems. He has done this with his mom, stepmom, my mom. He harbors bitterness against them all and it’s to the point that he ignores them when they are present or else sneers and criticizes them. Now he’s acting the same way with me. How do we respond and deal with unhealthy relationships? I know he is a damaged person who needs Christ. The problem is he goes to church and acts completely different there. He considers himself a Christian and I know I can’t judge the state of his soul, but he isn’t showing the fruits of the spirit in his life. I began reading a Bible story to our daughter every night before bed and asked him if he wanted to listen or read with us and he accused me of being a holier than thou type and that reading a story was a waste of time. Another issue is his inability to hold a job. He is currently unemployed. Please pray for us.

    1. Anna,

      I’m so sorry things are so painful!

      You both have a number of scars and wounds from which you need to heal emotionally and spiritually, it sounds like, from past posts. Have y’all considered going together to a trusted Christian counselor?

      You can’t control his bitterness, obviously. That is between God and your husband. You can pray for God to work in his heart – but only God can bring conviction of sin.

      How is your walk with Christ going?

      How are you doing with working on allowing God to change you to be more and more the woman He calls you to be?

      Does he have any mental health issues like bi-polar or ADD?

      What do you believe God desires you to do in response to your very wounded, upset, angry husband?

      Have you ever read Grace Filled Marriage by Tim Kimmel or Sacred Influence by Gary Thomas?

      There is so much power in focusing on allowing God to radically change you and trusting God to work in your husband’s life.

      “When My Spouse Is Wrong”

      “Confronting Our Husbands about Their Sin”

      Why Do I Have to Change First?

      “I Really Want My Husband to Change, Too!”

      A Dirty Garage Epiphany

      The link on the post to Leslie Vernick’s site has articles that are helpful with dealing with unhealthy relationships. So does the book, Boundaries.

      My prayer is that you will focus on being and doing what God has called you to do primarily and as you abide in Christ and are filled with His Spirit – He can give you the wisdom you need to pray and the wisdom about how to respond to your husband without sinning in return even if he is sinning against you.

      Romans 12:17-21 describes how we are to treat those who mistreat us.

      I Corinthians 13:4-8 describes how we are to treat all people.

      Galatians 5:22-23 describes how our character is to be all the time as God’s Spirit indwells us by His power living in us – even when people are difficult.

      Much love to you!

      1. Thank you for your response. I am open to going to counseling but he is not. I do believe he has major depression and anxiety issues that have never been dealt with, although I am not a professional. I can say that my faith is growing through this. I am leaving so much up to Him that I used to think was somehow in my control. My response is to continue to do my duty, i.e. cook, clean, take care of our toddler, etc. and to try very hard to treat him kindly and respectfully when we do interact, although I am not perfect and fall short sometimes. I do not believe in divorce except in extreme circumstances, so I do not consider that an option at all. I try to count my blessings because he does not cheat on me, hit me, is not alcoholic or addicted to drugs. I will check out the resources you mentioned. Thank you for your blog and all the effort you take to respond to comments. It’s helped me more than you know.

        1. Anna,

          Would he be fine with you going to counseling alone? That may be a wise thing to do if you find someone you can trust. How are things since a month ago when you apologized to him and he got so upset? Has the tension settled down at all?

          When you have fallen short – what did you do after that?

          Is he still talking about moving? And still no job?

          Have you ever researched what it is like to be married to someone with ADD? I wonder if some of those resources could be helpful?

          Sending you a huge hug, my dear sister. Praying for God’s wisdom and healing for you both! I’m always glad to hear from you. 🙂

          Much love,
          April

          1. Yes, he’s still talking about moving and still no job. However, he is looking at jobs back home where most of our family and friends are. I’m fully supportive of that. I am not sure how he would react if I wanted to go alone to counseling. I’ve considered it but decided to wait until we get settled in our next place. Things never really settle down with him. He’s mercurial and I never know if I will wake up and today he’ll be the nice version or the angry version, or if he starts out nice if he will get angry at some point. Many times I can’t pinpoint what causes the anger. There’s tension but I decided since he sees me as a huge part of his problem to be very quiet and just respond if he talks to me instead of initiating. I have worked hard to step up and apologize if I fall short in my behavior towards him. He brushes my apologies off, but I’m persevering because as you say it’s about God changing me. I’m praying a job will open up for us back home because I think he would benefit from being closer to his father and close friends he’s had since childhood.

          2. Anna,

            Perhaps you could pray about finding a godly wife mentor you can trust who is living respect and walking in submission to Christ? If things are that chaotic, I suspect a possible mental health issue may be going on. It could be that reading about being married to someone with ADD or bi-polar may give you some ideas of angles to try that may be more productive because both of those situations can involve some similar challenges to what you are seeing. He may not have any mental health issue at all – it may be more of a personality thing – I don’t know. But those routes may be helpful to prayerfully consider.

            Some men don’t value verbal apologies at all. They may value seeing actions much more.

            I pray for God’s wisdom for you both and for healing for both of you individually in Christ and for your marriage.

            Much love to you!

    2. Anna, your description of the account of your household sounds very similar to accounts of of those who are living with someone with NPD (narcissistic personality disorder), though I can not claim this as a diagnosis. Until your husband desires accountability and a healthy relationship, joint counseling will do more harm than good. Abuse is not a relationship/marriage issue, abuse is a personal issue that manifests itself in marriage. Counseling is not effective if an alcoholic is drunk at counseling. Similarly, so long as an abuser holds on to his sense of entitlement and desire for control, counseling is ineffective.

      Joint counseling is not recommended in abusive relationships. More often than not the abuser uses the sessions to fish for information to further harm his target or to turn the session into a blaming field day toward his target. Abusers are very skilled at manipulating people to get them to believe a representation of whatever they want to portray. If you do decide to go to counseling (this is your choice alone to make), I urge you to find someone who is knowledgeable about abuse. Many counselors are not and this can cause further trauma for the victim of abuse. Someone who is unskilled in abuse may classify whatever marriage problems are going on as 50/50 issues but abuse is not a 50/50 issue. If you don’t feel safe to speak the truth, feel belittled or more hopeless after sessions, find another counselor. Ultimately, Christ is your greatest counselor and He will guide you through His word as you seek Him.

      I had been in a long-term emotionally abusive marriage and now work with many women who are going through this. I stumbled across this website and felt compelled to send you a response after reading your account. I don’t know that I will be back to check a response but if I am fine if PeacefulWife wants to give you my email address if you want to talk. She has given you a great resource in going to LeslieVernick’s site. I highly recommend her book, The Emotionally Abusive Marriage, in particular. I personally worked with Leslie and can vouch for her ability and her dedication to the scriptures. I would also highly recommend CryingOutForJustice.com, a blog run by a pastor and some others about abuse within the Christian community. Praying for you now, Anna.

  3. Thank you for this post. As I read through the “unhealthy” list, I could relate to a lot of the statements because my husband and I are rebuilding our marriage right now. But I then re-read the list and asked myself, “does my husband maybe feel this also about me?”. It saddened me to realize that he probably does or has felt this way for a while and that is why he may still feel “unsafe” emotionally with me.
    I do struggle with the balance now in our separation. I often feel that “accepting” him living in another apartment can somehow be interpreted as I’m ok with it. I’m NOT. Isn’t this also unhealthy? Living in a situation that makes you feel so lonely,sad and confused? How do you set boundaries in this type of situation?
    It’s hard not to feel fake at times because no one at our Church and even some of our friends and family do not not we’re living apart. In fact, to the outsiders…we are a normal, functioning family. This is so difficult because I know God is a God of reconciliation. We both know Christ and want him as center of our relationship but I don’t feel comfortable to bring it up because I know I need to be patient and give my husband time to heal. It can be confusing at times because my husband can be affectionate and loving and we’ll have an awesome day but then I’m reminded at the end of the night when he leaves to go home, that we are not where we need to be. Should I feel grateful for his expressions of love or do I try to set boundaries?? I know that I have to love unconditionally and give grace because that is what God requires of me and I continue to ask God for wisdom. But how do I determine if this is a “healthy” vs “unhealthy” issue or just a time that my needs may not be met and a situation that I have to be patient with and wait on God’s timing?

    1. Hey Novembergirl,

      I don’t think that accepting things and feeling inner peace means that you are not allowed to feel sad or upset at times about your situation. I think it’s possible to do both. Jesus totally gave Himself over to God’s will, but He still felt grieved about various things. I think the key is that He had the attitude of “but Thy will be done” with regard to what He felt? At least this is my impression.

      I think your post shows that your husband wants to work it out too – there is definitely still hope for your marriage 🙂

      Much love to you! <3

      1. Flower,
        Thank you for reaching out and responding. You brought a helpful perspective and I appreciate your words of encouragement. Blessings to you!

      2. April,
        Thanks again for this. I chuckled when you said, “he is setting boundaries with you and you don’t like it.” I think you’re right! Thank you for pointing this out because this is obviously where I struggle with giving up control!
        In my heart (maybe with help from the Holy Spirit?) I believe that my husband truly wants reconciliation. With this, I need to let go of my own insecurities about it. When I start thinking of all the “what ifs”, fear tends to take over and I start thinking of what his possible TRUE intensions are. This is so much harder when my trust in my husband was also broken. I know this is an area that God is bending and molding me. My husband has always stated that the separation was to save our marriage. This concept is hard for me to grasp so I have difficulty with it.
        Thank you for your continued support and guidance through this journey. I felt like I started from scratch not too long ago and often I’m processing and “thinking out loud” on these blogs and I truly appreciate all the feedback. Your words have lifted me this morning.

        1. novembergirl,

          It is painful when we are trying to control others and they set boundaries with us. Yep. Of course, when we try to control others – that hurts them, the relationship, and us. What you have described sounds like your husband has been working toward reconciliation. I do think it would be very freeing to let go of a specific time frame and your expectations about when and how this should all happen – and maybe let him lead for awhile. (Unless he is having an affair or you are not safe with him or something awful is going on – like drug/alcohol addiction or he is mentally unfit.)

          Did you get a chance to read the post, “A Fellow Wife Begins a New Challenge – ‘I’m Going to Start Actually Believing My Husband'”? I think that might be helpful. 🙂

          You are very welcome to process and “think out loud” here. That is what this place is for. 🙂

          Much love to you, my precious sister!

    2. novembergirl,

      You are in the process of asking God to empower you both to change the unhealthy ways to healthy ways. This will take some time. I know you want him to move home right now. But – your husband may be on a slower time table than you are. I vote to appreciate what he does give you and to be willing to go at a slow pace. If he doesn’t feel safe with you – he is going to want to see over an extended period of time (probably months) that things are different and that God is changing you and that he is much more safe with you before he is willing to return – would be my guess.

      You are free to say, “I really don’t like that we are separated. It makes me so sad!” And at the same time, you can say, “But I understand that we are rebuilding trust and that I have work to do on my end, too, to help you feel safe. What can I do to help you to heal?”

      If he is sinning against you, you may need to set boundaries. Right now, I think the main thing is that he has set boundaries with you and you don’t like it. But you can work toward building trust again and becoming a godly wife as you allow God to transform your heart, mind, and soul – then he will feel safer eventually and will likely return home in time.

      Yes, God is a God of reconciliation. But reconciliation is rarely instant. The wounding period took a long time and the recovery takes a long time.

      Only God’s Spirit can really give you wisdom about whether this is healthy or not. I don’t know you or your husband . I don’t know his concerns or his heart. I don’t know his motives. If he has felt very disrespected and injured by you, what he is doing may be very healthy. It may be necessary to be separated so you both can heal spiritually individually with God and rebuild the marriage in a healthy way.

      If he is actually harboring evil motives, what he is doing may be unhealthy.

      As you cling to Christ and focus on Him being on the throne, trusting Him fully, yielding control totally to Him – He can heal you and empower you to bring healing to the marriage, as well.

      If your husband has felt very hurt by you – he may not be able or willing to meet your needs until he knows that you have changed and turned from the hurtful ways and that you are acting in loving, respectful ways.

      From here, and without talking with your husband – I don’t know if he is just being controlling and hurtful, or if he is truly simply hurt and needs time to heal. God can give you discernment about this as You seek His wisdom.

      1. Hi April,
        I hope you had a great holiday! I just wanted to reach out because over the weekend, I found out I am pregnant. Obviously, this was a shock to both of us and was not planned by any means. My husband expressed that he was suprised, but overall had a positive attitude about it saying that it is a blessing, regardless. I was relieved and thankful for this.

        I prayed long and hard before telling my husband because I don’t want this to influence his decisions or make him feel “obligated” or pressed to do things now. However, ideally…I would like for him to be the leader of the family and re-prioritize the needs of our family.
        I did not express any of this to him. I’m hoping and praying that God speaks to him and that he’s able to get godly advice from his own counselor as well.

        How do I now add this to the plate and still accept that I will not be a priority and that he may still want to live separately for a while longer? I know this sounds selfish, but emotionally, it’s so much to handle sometimes. We did have a good, productive conversation however about what we would ike in the future. I shared with him some of the things that I’m working on and the changes in perspectives that I’ve had. He seemed surprised by what I was saying (which was suprising to me, since I’ve shared some of this before). But, I’m assuming that maybe now he’s more receptive and able to hear what I say?

        I will also say that for my birthday last week, he gave me a nice gift and a very thoughtful card in which he wrote about how much he cares for me and appreciates me as a partner, etc. It was so awesome to read it! I guess this is why it’s more confusing at times, when he wants to live apart. I know I may sound like a broken record about this, and I’m sorry! I just struggle with this. Giving up expectations as you suggested is so incredibly hard for me!

        I’m nervous about the pregnancy considering the current situation and also because my last pregnancy was an awful experience emotionally with my husband. I’m doing my best to have faith in God and know that this is His will. I’m trying to surrender all control and anxiety. Please pray for us…I have a lot of mixed emotions right now.

  4. Hi April. This is my first comment, though I have been reading your posts for a few months now. As many others say, I’m so grateful that I found your site.

    I’m not sure how much detail I should write for you to be able to help me. I’ve been married 19 yrs and most of those have been very painful. We have 3 children. I’ve suffered depression and anxiety most of my adult life. My husband has tried to be understanding but it has worn thin over the years. There has been some very hurtful situations and very hurtful words spoken between us.

    After a year of shutting down emotionally and sexually from me, he has now told me he doesn’t want to be part of the marriage and that maybe he’s not cut out to be married. He said he’s scared of us fighting like we used to so has shut off from me. He “supposes”he still loves me because he’s “still here.” He said he’s happy to keep living here but if I can’t handle this then he will move out.

    A couple days later I said we might have to tell the kids how he feels then cause I’m not sure I can live like this and he exploded in anger and said I only hear what I want to hear (the negatives) and that this is how he feels now and to go away and think about all he said. Well, all he said were hurtful negative things. So I’m not sure how he thinks I got it wrong. We are both believers in God and regularly attend church. This has made me turn to God more but he is too busy (working) so is not using this time to pray and learn more about God as I am.

    I’ve never been controlling in the way you describe you were but I’ve tried to control who he spends time with and where due to my anxiety and past situations that have deeply hurt me. Ive grilled him at times and I understand how wrong I’ve been. I’ve always believed he is the head of the marriage after God and am happy for that. There just seems like I’ve got too much to write and not enough time to explain it all to you.

    I’m devastated and cry a lot. My kids see me upset a lot but I’m not sure how much they know. It sounds strange but we actually have a great family and life and we laugh a lot with our kids. My husband adores them and is a fun and loving dad. As long as Im willing to accept what he said, we actually get on fine and can talk and laugh etc. I have changed so much in the last year and a half and don’t let anxiety rule me so much. I’ve relaxed in a lot of areas in life and he said has noticed and that’s why he’s still here but that it’s too late and at the end of the day I’m still the same person.

    This is so hurtful because I can feel the huge changes I’ve made with Gods help. I feel frustrated with God at times as this has been going on for over 10 yrs but I can’t see any improvement in our marriage. Surely God doesn’t want this for us so why doesn’t he just help????? I really miss my husband just even hugging me. He says he doesn’t want to lead me on so just shut off. A couple times over this yr of him shutting down he has accidentally walked in and seen me naked and made cheeky comments and smiled etc but it’s so painful that we haven’t been intimate for almost a year.

    This makes me worried he has left it too long now and is in a rut that won’t change. How can a man not want to be intimate? I’m so scared this is a really bad sign. I don’t know if this is the right place for this comment. Please leave parts out that you don’t think are necessary to post. Im a bit of a mess at the moment. I want God to come and end the world. It’s too hard. it’s like the only way he wants me is if I’m perfect and don’t have feelings and that’s not real life.

    1. Bel,
      It’s wonderful to meet you! 🙂 Thanks for your comment. My heart breaks with you over the pain you and your husband are both experiencing in the marriage. I will do my best to point you to Christ, my dear sister!

      Did you have some scars and wounds from childhood that contribute to your anxiety and depression, do you think? What was your parents’ marriage like?

      It is very tough for a husband to watch his wife experience depression and anxiety. Husbands tend to measure their success as men and as husbands by their wife’s level of happiness. I’m not saying they should – because this is not an accurate measure necessarily. But this is what most men tend to do. When they try as hard as they can to make their wife happy for years and years and she is still depressed, sad, upset, anxious, and maybe needy and controlling – men tend to get really discouraged. They tend to begin to believe they are “failures” as husbands. They want to be their wife’s hero – but none of their efforts are good enough and the situation looks hopeless. A man in such a position may eventually back away from his wife emotionally and even sexually because it is just too painful. Men also tend to back away sexually when they feel controlled or disrespected over a long period of time.

      With men – their actions usually speak much more loudly than their words. Could there have been some more positive information he shared with you that you did not share with me? Or was that his whole message to you?

      Even if that was his whole message – he IS saying that he still loves you. He is still there. That counts for A LOT. So there are BIG TIME reasons for hope. And the fact that he said he is happy to keep living with you – that is A GOOD THING. Obviously, there are some bad things, too. Would you be able to describe what the fights were about briefly? The negatives, from what you are saying, sound to me like he feels like a total failure as a husband. It sounds like he feels that he is not “enough” for you or that he doesn’t know what to do to “make things better” for you. It sounds like he wants you to be happy. It sounds like he desperately wants peace in the home. It sounds like he wants to feel safe. It sounds to me like he wants to feel like a team.

      Have you repented for the times you have been controlling and how you allowed your anxiety to dictate your behavior and motives toward your husband?

      What does he say he needs? What would make him feel more at home and safe? What would make him feel like you are not his enemy but that you know you are on his team and have his back?

      The thing is – you have total control here, my dear sister! You can continue to seek Christ and allow Him to change you – and over time – this can heal. I totally believe this is not at all beyond repair. As you create a new history and as you live in God’s peace and in the power of His Spirit – your husband will eventually feel more safe and may eventually begin to draw closer to you again. He is trying to say he doesn’t want to break up the family. But he is also saying that there are some things that need to change.

      I know wallowing in depression seems like a great option right now – but that is only going to reinforce your husband’s decision that he can’t do this whole marriage thing. You do have a choice to focus on Philippians 4:8 things. You do have a choice to surrender total control to Christ and to allow Him to radically continue to change you. He can heal your anxiety and depression. Here is a post about spiritual causes of anxiety and depression that could be interesting.

      What is beautiful to God and to our husbands in our souls is – a peaceful, gentle spirit that does what is right and does not give way to hysterical fear.’

      As you focus on becoming complete in Christ, allowing Christ to be the most important thing and person by far in your life, He will fill you up to overflowing. He can meet needs that your husband can’t meet. Have you read any posts about making our husbands into idols?

      Your husband is seeing the changes God is helping you make in your life and that is why he is still there. WOOHOO! THAT IS AWESOME NEWS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This is HUGE! Celebrate that massive victory! And realize that there is plenty of more victory where that came from! You are not a victim. Your husband is simply human and not able to meet your deepest needs. He has reached some of his limits. But that is okay. God can meet your deepest needs. He can fill you up. He can heal your husband. He can heal your marriage. Your husband seems to be open to these things. But it will be a slow process.

      No need to cry and be devastated. It is time to throw yourself even more at the feet of Christ and allow Him total access to all that is in your soul, mind, and heart. Let the pain show you that you have more need of Jesus. This is a fantastic time to learn the sufficiency of Christ. There are great spiritual treasures God has for you in this time of trial that are much more important than your marriage. If you are willing to open your heart and soul to all that Jesus wants to do in you – this will be the time of the most spiritual growth you have ever experienced and God will heal you!

      God IS helping you. Actually, this situation will help you – your husband’s distance brings pain that will motivate you to seek God much more passionately than you would have if your husband did not do this. I think it may turn out to be a great blessing that your husband is doing what he is doing because it will force you to see yourself more clearly and it will spur you on to want to grow spiritually at more rapid pace.

      It is a GOOD thing that he smiled when he saw you and that he made those comments. That means he is still attracted to you. He just maybe doesn’t feel safe with you. God can change that as you surrender fully to Him.

      Have you read Absolute Surrender by Andrew Murray? Here is a free download. 🙂 This book is about how to have the fullest life in Christ. It is about how to live in God’s power on a daily basis.

      Please don’t freak out about your husband not wanting to be intimate. Let’s just take what he said at face value for now. You focus on becoming the woman and wife God desires you to be. Don’t pressure or push your husband. Respect the boundaries he has set. ENJOY him. Smile at him! Laugh with him. Thank him for anything he does. Thank him for the dad he is. Admire him. Look at the good in him. Let God work in him to heal him. Be responsible for your emotions and be responsible for your spiritual well-being.

      Ask God to help you create a healthy family relationship dynamic by His power. As the wife you have the most power of anyone in the family to set the emotional and spiritual thermostat for the entire home. Your joy and peace in Christ radiates and breathes life into the rest of the family. When the flesh is in control rather than the spirit, the whole place will be scary and feel dark to everyone.

      You are not responsible FOR them. You are only responsible for yourself. But you have tremendous power and influence that you can use in the power of God’s Spirit to open the floodgates of heaven and pour healing into the whole family. You are a child of the King of kings and Lord of lords. If you are in Christ, everything He is and all that He has belongs to you! You are not a pauper. You just haven’t learned to access all that Jesus has done for you yet.

      Your job is simple. Abide in Christ. Allow His Spirit to flood your soul to overflowing. Let Him remove anything toxic in your heart and life and mind. Take your thoughts captive. When you see a fearful or depressed thought – shoot it down and replace it with the truth of God’s Word. You are not a victim of your thoughts. When you have God’s Spirit, He gives you the power to direct your thoughts away from sinful things – fear, worry, anxiety, negativity, etc… and to godly things. You are no longer a slave to sin. You are more than a conqueror through Christ who loves you! Here is what God says about your identity.

      Jesus alone is your security and your purpose. He alone is enough. If you have Him, you have EVERYTHING that matters! No need to wallow in fear anymore.

      Please search my home page for:

      – fear
      – bitterness
      – insecurity

      If you need more help – let me know. I am always glad to talk with you. I am praying for you both! I see MANY reasons for hope! This will be a challenge, yes. But you are about to see the miracles of God unfold in your life. That is EXCITING!

      Much love to you!

  5. April, thank you doesn’t seem enough for the thoughtful and detailed reply you sent me. You hit the nail right on the head with a lot of your comments. Ill answer some of your questions. I had a great childhood with loving Christian parents who are still married and madly in love after 43 yrs. my dad adores mum but work always came first. Mum has always missed out on his time, holidays, house improvements etc, but knows dad loves her. I was an anxious child. Mums a worrier so I guess I get it from her. I saw mum feel lonely in the marriage from lack of quality time with dad so I think I may have tried too hard to make my marriage different. I remember being teased as a kid and was very self conscious. I was told as a teen by an adult male that I wasn’t pretty enough to do the job I wanted to do. Anyway. I agree my husband is tired of my “doom and gloom” attitude. He HAS reached his limit with me. I did make him and the marriage an idol. He even said once that I must be obsessed with him or something. I just wanted time with him. I’ve read about idols and space and motives. I’ve read most of your posts now. They are so helpful and eye opening. Our problems began early on when we spent a lot of time with another married couple and became close friends. Over the years I noticed my husband seemed too excited to see my friend and I noticed the extra long hugs and a few things. One day I asked him if he had feelings for her he shouldn’t have and he said yes. It was so hurtful. He even asked me once why I can’t be more like her. I lost my best friend. My anxiety and jealousy increased.
    He also hasnt had my back on a few occasions where I really needed him to. Even if he doesn’t agree he should still support me.
    He loves alcohol. Too much. Hurtful things have happened and been said over his drinking. When the kids were young I felt he chose friends and beer over us. If I needed him he never had time and said it was “my worry” but if a friend called and needed him he was there. Years of anxiety and mistrust followed. He said if I didn’t trust him there wasn’t much he could do. He has said if I’m going to ask him to give up drinking we may as well end it as he doesn’t want to spend his life not doing what he wants. He’d rather drink than be married to me obviously. I have let go of this issue now. I had to if I wanted my marriage. A few of the oth things he told me were that he has nothing for me, his brain and heart are shut down from me. He said his brain isn’t working properly and is telling him lies about me. Strange thing to say. I think the devil has a hold of him. He said he doesn’t even know why we are together as we are on different pages and want different things. He said he doesn’t trust me not to start a fight so is protecting himself by being distant. I told him I was scared and he cruelly said ” you should be and you only have yourself to blame”. This was the message. I don’t see anything but negative here so why did he blow up when I said we may have to tell the kids??? So I followed your advice and went quiet and worked on myself with God. Over the months I thought he was softening. Out of the blue he got people out to give a quote on a new kitchen- something he knows I’ve been wanting. On my birthday he baked me a cake and cooked for lots of guests and worked so hard. I felt special and I thanked him and told him so. He cut me off and said not to thank him as he only did it because it was his idea to have the party at our house. Ouch. Very hurtful. I asked him if I misinterpreted all the nice things he’s said and done because I thought things were improving. He said I must have and that he’s just trying to be nice. I guess because we live together. I can’t follow him. He can be so mean with an explosive temper but can be so nice and it’s so hard not to reach out and hug him. I fear he’s only here because he can’t bear to tell the kids. He’s not here for me. Yes I have apologized for my part but it makes no difference. He doesn’t believe me. He just wants me to leave him alone and not bother him. I don’t know what else I can do. I’m just working on me and my wifely duties. I’m at his beck and call every day. I look after his needs. I even serve his dinner on his lap every night. I’m scared as we had weeks of counseling 10 yrs ago and the lady said we are like poison to each other and she can’t help us anymore. We saw someone new 5 yrs ago and I began to change and improve but it’s made no difference. The therapist is amazed at my changes and doesn’t understand my husband. I used to be quite a “spitfire” but am more quiet and can hold my tongue.
    I find it hard to pray without the wrong motives as I desperately want my husband back. I don’t think I can do over 3 yrs of this like you and Greg. One year has had me thinking that getting a disease and passing away would be easier and save a lot of problems for him and the kids. But I don’t want the devil to win. I’m determined. I just really fear he has such a grip on my husband. I pray he hears Gods voice but nothing seems to change. Do you still feel hopeful for us after all this? I can’t imagine. Sorry this is so long. I am so very grateful to you and what you are doing.

    1. Bel,

      Do you believe your husband is an alcoholic?

      Do you think he felt like you were trying so hard to pressure and control him that he just “rebelled” against you with going out with friends and drinking to prove to you that you can’t make him do what you want him to do?

      Perhaps he doesn’t feel it is necessary to tell the kids anything unless he is leaving?

      Perhaps, verbal appreciation may irritate him right now. But you can certainly appreciate the good things he does for you in your heart.

      I’m a bit concerned about your definition of respect and biblical submission. Is it possible that getting your husband to love you and getting him to stay could be the most important thing to you right now?

      It’s easy to make our husbands into our idols. It’s easy to make being a godly wife into an idol. “If only I do this and this and this – my husband will come back to me!”

      The goal is not ultimately to please your husband. Yes, you can seek to bless him. But the ultimate goal is to please Christ alone. Does that make sense?

      You don’t have to freak out if he is upset. He has his own sin issues he needs to deal with. The plan is not, “please your husband at all costs!” – which is what I kind of hear with the “I am at his beck and call every day.” The plan is “please Christ at all costs!” I know at first, I actually tried to use respect to manipulate my husband or to try to control him into loving me more. That doesn’t work. If I am looking at his response to me and expecting something there – I am probably focusing on what I get out of this.

      I had to learn to seek to become the woman and wife God desired me to be with no guarantee of outcomes. I had to learn that the ONLY reason I was going to begin to respect and honor my husband and allow God to change me was so that I could be close to God and have Him whether my husband ever changed or not. I had to leave the results in God’s hands. I could desire to bless my husband and marriage. But I had to hold him very loosely in my hands instead of trying to clutch him with my hands around his neck emotionally.

      If he leaves, you can be okay in Christ. Really. You can be completely dependent on Christ. Your well-being and your joy, contentment, purpose, and peace is not dependent on whether your husband stays or leaves. Well, it doesn’t have to be. It shouldn’t be. I think you are expecting your husband to meet some of the deepest needs of your soul that only Christ can meet.

      How are you doing with being filled up with God and resting in Him and overflowing with His joy, peace, and strength? As you focus on Christ, the things of this world “grow strangely dim” and you just see His radiance so brightly – all that matters is Jesus and what He desires and what He thinks. Plus, He holds the universe in His sovereign hands – so you can rest in His sovereignty to work in your husband. God will change your husband in time. That is not your job. Your job is just to abide in Christ and allow God to have control in your life.

      I hope this makes sense.

      Much love to you!

      April

        1. April, I don’t think he’s an alcoholic. I have in the past though. He told me there’s no way he would be able to work the way he does if he was an alcoholic and that he doesn’t wake up and need to drink etc. he said he just loves it and it’s how he relaxes. I still think every day is too much but as I said, I can’t even mention it negatively. He can’t handle it. I’m not sure if he just rebelled or not. Possibly.
          I have realized nothing I do or say will change anything or make him love me or stay. I really have given up on trying. I am just doing these things because I know that’s what God would want me to do for him. I’m trying to just bless my husband as you say, with no expectations. But as I said it is very hard to not have in the back of my mind that I hope he notices and that it helps. This is frustrating. I’m trying so hard just to please God and have the right motives. It did sound bitter when I said I’m at his beck and call. I just meant that I’m here when he needs my help. I don’t work outside the home so I believe my job is to support him as he is the provider.
          I really am trying to be the wife God desires me to be. I want to be. I believe the marriage vows I took are for as long as we live. Not just until things get too hard. I am leaving him in Gods hands. The past 10 yrs have definitely proved to me that I have no power over anything. God is the only one who can help. I don’t WANT to be responsible as I’ve made a mess of it. I don’t demand things or say much at all now. I’m quiet. There are bad days though but I pray a lot more and then can move on and the next day is better. I feel Gods power then.
          He also had wonderful loving parents. We were both very blessed with our families. Although his dad had lots of health issues and it was hard on his mum.
          I ask God every day to fill me with His joy peace and strength. I Don’t feel joyful much though. This is why I worry I’m asking with wrong motives but just can’t seem to get it right. I’m trying. I understand what you mean about holding him loosely and I think I can do that most days now but hints of anxiety creep in every now and then.
          Thank you again.

          1. Bel,

            I’m thinking of and praying for you. Keep up the good work and do not get discouraged. Much love!

          2. Thank you so much Elizabeth. It’s comforting and amazing to think that someone I don’t know and will never probably know is actually thinking of me and praying for my marriage. What a special lady April is for creating this forum for us all to encourage and support each other.

          3. Bel,

            I agree that this site is a fantastic blessing, and that April is surely being used by God in a great way to help many women. She helped me with something I needed help dealing with about two years ago, and since then things have improved a thousand percent, but I still read every post and love reading the comments because it’s so encouraging, both the biblical information AND the lives of my sisters here. When others grow spiritually and try hard to put godly principles into work in their lives, it thrills my heart just as it does April’s, and many others here too, I’m sure. Each day is a clean slate for us, a chance to grow, bring joy to God’s heart, and to bless all the people we come into contact with. It is a privilege and joy to pray for you and lend you support and comfort.

          4. Bel,

            I love this! I didn’t have any human support, other than books, when I was starting this journey the first several years. It is such a joy to get to see women find support here and to have people to pray with them, encourage them, love them, and support them on this journey. 🙂

          5. Bel,

            How much would you say he is drinking? There are “functional alcoholics” who are able to hold a job. Are we talking about a beer or two per day – or a lot more?

            How are you doing with Resting in Christ?

            Do you have any godly mentor or Christian counselor you can turn to for support?

            Do you feel like you are trying to do all of this in your own strength?

            What do you believe saps your joy, my dear sister?

            Much love to you!

          6. He drinks around 5-6 beers a day and sometimes a spirit after that. Every day. Years ago I begged him to at least cut down to mid strength beers instead of full strength. He was not happy about it but did it. I also asked if he could possibly have one alcohol free day at least a week but he wont do this. He works extremely hard and he says this is how he unwinds. The first sound we hear is the pull of the beer can top before we even see him.
            Some days I seem to be able to rest in Christ easily but I can’t seem to be able to do this constantly. This makes me worry that maybe I don’t have His spirit in me. It all seems easier said than done. How do I know if I have His spirit? I know I think about God all day long. I pray and talk to Him all through the day. I know I can’t do anything in my own strength yet I feel so weak some days. I know you say God can fulfill all our needs but what do I do when I just want to feel a hug from my husband? Sometimes I can’t lie in our bed as its too sad to me how close we are but so very far apart. So I get up and go and cry somewhere else till I’m too tired to cry more. Does this mean I’m doing this all wrong? I know you say it’s not FOR us to do. But I’m only a sinful human and it almost seems we have to be godly ourselves to be able to do this. A year is so long with this distance. How do I do another one? Or 2? I feel time is wasting. I’m in a place where I feel I can forgive and forget and look to a brighter future. But he isn’t. It’s so frustrating and sad. I think it’s just this distance between us that saps my joy. Our children are getting older and precious family time is being wasted. Then as you said, I wouldn’t have turned to God as strongly as I have without this so…….
            I have a sister I’m very close to. And my pastor. I’ve told him of our situation. A good friend also knows and she was so shocked when I told her. She said he could get an Oscar for his performance. He can smile and talk and joke and laugh with me in front of others but he just doesn’t want to be close to me emotionally anymore. I’m so scared this won’t change. I WANT to model a good marriage to our children and others. I don’t WANT to be on my deathbed saying my marriage was a disaster. I just want to know that it IS Gods will for our marriage to be restored. I know you say I CAN be ok even if our marriage is not restored if I have Christ. Again, it sometimes feels I need to be superhuman. maybe today isn’t one of my good days.

          7. Bel,

            I hope you might check out Celebrate Recovery – a Christian-based program that helps people with addictions. I think they may have some resources that will be helpful. What you are describing sounds like more than “casual drinking” to me.

            You can’t change your husband. You can’t open his eyes. You can seek to become the woman God calls you to be. You can seek to allow God to transform you. You can trust your husband to God. You can seek God’s wisdom about what you should do exactly. This is a tough situation. But you are not beyond the reach of Christ! And neither is your husband. 🙂

            God loves marriage. He hates divorce. There can be times when separation can be a necessary step in healing. I believe praying for healing for your marriage is God’s will. But even more than that – praying for God’s healing in your own soul and for God to heal your husband spiritually are my prayers!

            You do need to be superhuman to do this – you can’t do it on your own. But in Christ, He can give you the strength, wisdom, power, love, clarity, endurance, and vision to know what to do each day.

            It is a process to learn to trust God more and more and to learn to allow Him to have control. That is the lifelong process of sanctification. 🙂

            Check out this post, and please read LMSdaily115’s comments to some wives who are hurting about how she handled her husband’s hostility and rejection over this past year. I think those comments may be a blessing to you. 🙂

            If you haven’t, please read “Absolute Surrender” by Andrew Murray. Here is a link to a free download. 🙂

            I am praying for you both!! And sending you a BIG hug! 🙂

  6. It is so hard to have healthy relationship. My husband still put his mom first above me and our son. Sometimes, he insults me or treat me bad. I also sometimes try to control him o disrespect him without willing. Relationships are so complicated even when God is first in my heart….. 😞

    1. sonadewonderful,

      I long to see you reach out for help. The situation you are facing is more than most wives could face alone without godly, outside support. But I know that you may not feel safe to reach out for help. 🙁 I am praying for God’s wisdom for you, my precious sister. I want you to be safe!

  7. As our relationship is not healthy (du to the wrong model of my husband’s parents) he doesn’t see woman and husband as a partner relationship where both can express their desire but at the end, if none decisions are taken the man can take the decision. What he asks me is to obey. He’s dominant and he takes the decision without talking to me. Yesterday, as we were away, his mum (we still live in her house cause our apartment isn’t ready yet) change things on our son’s room. I was angry cause this is our son’s room. We live upstairs and she never goes there. But as now she’s angry with my husband and doesn’t talk to us since 3 weeks, she tries to create problems. I changed the way it was and put is back as it was. My husband asked me to put it as his mum did it cause it was his house. Today, I was angry and fought with him about it. I obeyed but is it biblical?

    1. Ashley,

      Isn’t that crazy?!?! It seems a bit surreal. Thank you for your encouragement, your excitement, and your prayers! 🙂 How I pray God will prepare the hearts of all who read and that His Spirit will flow powerfully through my words to reach women for the Kingdom. 🙂 I pray God might use this to produce much fruit and honor for Christ.

  8. Thank you for this. Satan has been doing a good job of trying to bring me down lately, but now I see things very clearly. My husband is a functioning alcoholic, has had 2 emotional affairs with coworkers, and is a classic case narcissist. I’ve stayed too long in the hopes that a miracle will happen so that my children won’t have to live in a divorced home. If I stay much longer he will destroy me, but if I leave maybe it will save him.

  9. Hi april,

    You forgot these:

    I know what you are thinking/feeling.

    My wife seems to say this a lot, but she doesn’t have a clue about what I am thinking or feeling. After more than 2 decades, she still says this. Most of the time when she has a breakdown and resorts to yelling at me, she tells me that she knows what I think of her or how I feel.

    “Your just stressed over…”

    “I know what you think of me.”

    How about more:

    You can’t bring up any faults my family has, but I can bring up your family faults.

    Have the time when we argue my only thoughts are, “When will she truly forgive me?” because she will SAY she forgives me, but her tone and body language and the lack of affection goes on for days, if not weeks.

    The longer I stay married though, the more I think… Can’t you just leave me alone, what do we have to eat. If I am so bad why don’t you leave me?

    1. Jeff,

      Yikes.

      I used to do things like this to Greg. I had whole conversations in my head with him all day over some issue – and would be angry with him over what I assumed he would say when he walked in the door after work. He was able to share with me later how frustrating that was. I can certainly understand that now!

      It would be incredibly frustrating to have someone make wrong assumptions about your thoughts and not allow you to have a voice. That is how Greg felt – that he didn’t have a voice and his opinions and feelings didn’t matter in our marriage. SO HEARTBREAKING! I had no idea he felt that way for over 14 years. I thought if he thought something or disagreed, he would speak up. I thought if I hurt him, he would verbally express it. I didn’t remotely understand him. It took years of studying, praying, and begging God to help me understand (for hours every day) to begin to wrap my head around what a different world men live in and how vastly differently they think. I was wrong about all of my previous assumptions about Greg’s thinking. I was trying to superimpose my way of thinking onto him. He’s not a woman! And he’s not me. What freedom when I was able to realize that men and women are very different and when I could marvel at God’s design for masculinity and be curious in a friendly way to discover his world!

      And – oh goodness – the forgiveness thing. I didn’t know how to forgive. I would say I forgave people. But I didn’t. I held on to grudges for years. I didn’t know how to let it go. I think the main thing was I had never seen what a wretched sinner I was and how much Jesus really paid for my sins – not a few hundred dollars, but billions and billions of dollars. Once I understood what I really owed God, I began to have the capacity to ask God to empower me to forgive others as He had forgiven me. But until a person receives that massive gift of grace and understands with humility their own spiritual condition apart from Christ, I don’t know how one would be able to forgive others from the heart.

      I’m very sorry for your pain. I know from what you have written, your wife is in a lot of pain, too. And you have so many extenuating circumstances that make things extremely challenging. Sometimes, God wakes up the husband first. Sometimes, He wakes up the wife first. I still believe that God can and will lead your wife through you as you are fully submitted to Him. I believe He has good plans for you and your family, my brother. I know you have been facing constant attacks from the enemy. But I am praying for God’s victory in your life, your wife’s life, your children’s lives, and your marriage!

  10. April. I’m on my bed crying. I have moments of feeling strong but still so many of sadness. Lately my husbands anger has been extra bad. Yesterday he yelled in a big booming voice at our 9yr old just for asking what he was doing today. He yelled “lots of things”. He yelled at her a 2nd time when I asked her to tell him the power was off. He yelled “so? I’m busy”. I wasn’t very respectful after that. I shook my head at him and didn’t speak lovingly. I’m so over his moods and anger. My 16 yr old asked why he is so angry. She said he’s seems worse lately and that she’s noticed he treats me not very nicely. I want to tell him he is affecting us all. Is it time to tell our kids what’s going on and why mum is sad and cries a lot?
    Sometimes when I speak he screws his face up like the mere sound of my voice irritates him. Sometimes he uses a cute voice to me. Mostly he just still has no interest in me. Hasn’t asked me anything about myself in a year.
    If I am to treat him with respect no matter what, isn’t this just teaching him he can treat us however he likes and gets away with it? Even gets treated nicely from me? Thus just doesn’t make sense and is sooooo hard to do.
    He asked my kids if they got me something for Christmas because he wasn’t getting me anything. This hurt a lot. I shouldn’t be surprised though he has never not given me a gift at Chrismas. He also didn’t give me anything for my bday this year. I know Gods gift to us is the only gift that matters but this still hurts. I can’t help the tears. They just come.

    1. Bel,

      You can treat him with respect no matter what because of your Spirit-filled character. But you can also treat yourself with respect. It is okay to respectfully let your husband know that his anger is affecting the kids. My greatest concern is that you do this from a position of power and wisdom in Christ, not in the power of your flesh or with any sinful motives.
      It’s okay to say, if God prompts you, “Honey, please don’t speak to me like this.” Or to say anything you believe God desires you to – after you have bathed the issue in prayer and have taken care of any sin in your heart.

      Have you had a chance to read Sacred Influence by Gary Thomas? It has some great examples of real live wives handling their husbands’ anger with respect for themselves and for their husbands.

      How is your walk with Christ going?

      I’m so sorry things are painful. Please seek God’s wisdom, my precious sister. I don’t want anyone to be mistreated. I know you can’t control him. But you can control you with God’s help. Another resource, Leslie Vernick’s site or her articles about dealing with toxic and difficult people.

      http://www.leslievernick.com/newsletter/091713-newsletter.html

        1. April thank you again for your thoughts prayers and guidance. I have ordered the books Sacred Influence and Absolute Surrender and Love and Respect from the Christian bookstore in my closest town. Am waiting. Are there any other books you would recommend I read?
          My husband knows God and goes to church, so this makes it even more frustrating. It’s like he hears Gods words but must think it doesn’t apply to him. His anger is bad and he swears a lot. I find it disgusting what comes out of his mouth sometimes. It is so tempting to lecture. He expects so much from me and the kids but isn’t a good example to us at all. I’m very worried about him. I just wish God would act quickly. I know His timing is perfect but I just can’t wait much longer.
          I’m worried I have set us back when I shook my head at him yesterday. I didn’t yell but I spoke to him with clear annoyance after he yelled at our girl.
          I can’t sense Gods prompting much. My head hurts so much from thinking and praying but the peace I feel comes and goes.
          I will read the extra post you recommended.
          Am I best to continue not trying to hug my husband , even at Christmas? Do I just stay clear and wait for him to decide?

          1. Bel,

            How are you doing with being responsible for yourself spiritually, for abiding in Christ, and for being responsible for your own emotions?

            If your husband is not receptive, I would not suggest hugging him – that will only repel him more. He will come to you when he is ready, I believe.

            Have you reached out for help to Celebrate Recovery or to a godly, trusted counselor?

            How much are you still crying each day, would you say?

            Between the alcohol and anger issue with him, and the severe anxiety and depression with you – I think it would be wise to seek appropriate outside help. You may need a bit of assistance in navigating some of these tough issues. Is that possible?

            What has your time with God been like? What are you praying for?

            Do you believe that you and your children are safe at this point with your husband?

            Much love to you!

          2. April, I feel I’m praying to God and thinking of Him most of the day every day. I ask Him to fill me with His spirit so I can feel His peace and love and guidance in all I think say and do. I pray for my husband these things too. I ask Him to take my fears away and help me to trust in Him fully. I ask Him to purify my motives. I tell Him I know I can’t do this on my own and beg Him to help me. I tell Him I know I’m an undeserving sinner but that I need Him. It seems like a constant battle. Is this the devil trying to tempt and confuse me?
            The help we have seeked in the past all gave up on us. One told us we are like poison to each other. My psychologist we saw together more recently is so pleased with my changes. She feels it’s his turn to make changes and work on himself. It’s just as though he’s not trying. I’m a million times better than I used to be. It’s just obviously not enough.
            It’s weird but about 6 months ago during a particularly tough time I was upset and said to him that he hasn’t even hugged me when I’ve really needed it and he said “well you can hug me”. What does this mean? Why would I want to hug someone who doesn’t want to hug me? It’s so frustrating and confusing.
            I believe we are safe. Though if words hurt like actions do we would not be.
            I haven’t looked into Celebrate Recovery as I just feel it’s a lost cause. He refuses to accept he has any problem. It would be a one sided attempt and I don’t see the point. After all , he told me we may as well end it now if I want him to stop drinking. That means it is more important to him than our marriage.
            Ashamedly sometimes I get angry with God. I think that if He hates divorce and loves us then why let us go on in pain like this for so long? What if it gets too much and we give up waiting? I would be full of thanks and praise if He would just fix this now. Then I realize my sin and ask for His forgiviness and for patience and faith in His timing.

          3. Bel,

            I’m really glad to hear about the way you are seeking Christ and desire to put Him first. THAT IS AWESOME!

            If your husband invites you to hug him when you need a hug, you can go to him and hug him first, and then he sounds like he will hug you back. That’s fine, too. 🙂 I don’t think he is saying he doesn’t want to hug you. I think he is saying you can initiate a hug when you need it rather than expecting him to read your mind.

            If he says that if you want him to stop drinking, he wants to end the marriage – that is a problem. But – in Christ – it is not insurmountable. Here’s the thing – I want you as close to God as possible so that you can hear His voice. I don’t know if He wants you to stay, pray, and minister to your husband as God changes you – or if He may want you to separate to give your husband some time to think about his priorities and to separate you from the drinking. I don’t know how severe things are. This would be a decision for you to make after much prayer and after clear direction from God.

            Celebrate Recovery has resources for spouses, too. And if God is with you – it is not one-sided. 🙂 Thankfully!

            God does hate divorce. But He also values people having free will. He allows us to make our own choices – even when the consequences are painful and hurtful to others and to Himself. The pain is from sin. The enemy is the one who wants to steal, kill, and destroy. God wants to heal. But things sometimes happen on a much slower timetable than we would like as wives. Sometimes, it is the waiting that is the most important part of God’s healing for us.

            Much love to you!

    2. For those of you with husbands who don’t know Christ –
      Picture a woman whose husband is in a casket in the funeral home. Imagine that she is trying to get her dead husband to eat the spaghetti she made for him for supper. Imagine that she is upset and lecturing him about the fact that he didn’t take out the trash that day and that he was not being a loving enough husband and father.
      You would think she was crazy, right?
      We all know that dead people…
      – don’t have an appetite for food.
      – can’t show love.
      – can’t respond to us.
      – can’t do things for us.
      – can’t hear us.
      – can’t be alive.
      They’re dead!
      Our expectations have to drastically change when someone physically dies.
      The Bible says that those who don’t know Christ are spiritually dead. Spiritually dead people have a lot of similarities to physically dead people.
      Spiritually dead people are dead to the things of God. They…
      – don’t have an appetite for spiritual things.
      – can’t show the love of Christ.
      – can’t respond to spiritual things.
      – can’t hear our words about spiritual things.
      – can’t do spiritual things for us.
      – can’t love or act like Jesus.
      Well, they can’t do this stuff YET. They need Jesus to give them a second birth – a spiritual birth. Then they will be new babies in Christ.
      Precious wife – if your husband doesn’t know Christ as Lord yet, it is tempting to lecture him about spiritual things. It is tempting to try to force feed him spiritual words. But he is dead. Or if he is a believer but is far from God right now, he may be unconscious – maybe like he is in the spiritual ICU.
      Our spiritual expectations must be adjusted when someone is spiritually in a coma or dead.
      There are times when we are dealing with people who are living in the flesh and in the power of their sinful nature – when we must understand that their sin against us isn’t personal. It is all that is in their heart. It is all they are capable of. It is ultimately against God alone. They are sinning because they are slaves to the enemy (Satan) – and they are enemies of God at this time.
      It isn’t really that helpful to try to lecture a spiritually dead person about their sin. It would be as productive as lecturing a corpse.
      What this man needs is for God to raise him to new life in Christ. He needs God to open his spiritual eyes. He needs the blood of Jesus to cleanse him from all of his sin. He needs God’s Spirit’s conviction and godly sorrow. He needs a new heart, soul, and mind. God can give him these things. You cannot. But you can get in the way of God’s voice in his life and make it much harder for him to hear God. Or you can get on board with God and make it much easier for your husband to hear God’s voice.
      The key – if you want God to reach your husband – is to be an instrument totally yielded to God yourself. You can’t reach your husband in your own strength. But if you are fully surrendered to Christ as Lord, your husband may begin to see God in you. He will see your very different attitude. He will see the joy, light, and peace that passes all understanding radiating from your life. He will see the genuine respect with which you treat him when he doesn’t deserve it. He will see you say that he has hurt you – but watch you extend grace and forgiveness that he doesn’t deserve. He will be very confused and wonder what is different about you and why you don’t respond with hatred, bitterness, resentment, disrespect, and sin in return.
      This is the path that leads to a husband finding Christ. It involves much dying to self. There is no guarantee that he will come to Christ. There is no guarantee of a timeline. It will require more patience than you have ever had in your lifetime. You can’t do any of this in your own power. It requires God’s power to be flowing through you constantly as you cling to Christ and trust Him and allow His Spirit and His Word full control in your life.
      Praying for God’s strength and His Spirit’s power for each of you in this situation today. I pray that God will bring your husband to Himself and that you will be a totally yielded instrument in God’s hands to do His work in your family.
      Much love to each of you!

  11. Hi April. I’m still working on the things you recommended to me, but I just need your thoughts on a situation that happened at Christmas.
    We went to church and after the service we were walking out of the church and I was behind my husband. He saw my mum and sister and went and gave them a kiss and a big hug and said happy christmas to them. This is lovely but I nearly burst into tears as I got nothing. Not even a card saying happy Christmas. Seeing him do this hurt me a lot. I just thought wow, my sister and mum have had more intimacy with my husband than I have all year. I can’t seem to follow your advice and not be affected by what he does and doesn’t do and to get my fulfillment from God alone when this happens right in front of me. Can I tell him this hurt me? I can’t hear God clearly.
    We are supposed to be going to friends for a New Years party but I know that at midnight when we all (friends) give each other a hug kiss and well wishes, he won’t touch me and I’m scared my friends will notice. It will also hurt too much to see him do that with them.
    I’m so hurt and I burst into tears at my parents when we went there for Christmas and now mum is worried. I don’t want everyone knowing how bad things are until they have to.
    I’m praying a lot for God to help me trust in Him and have His peace and feel content in His love but I’m hurting so much and am so unhappy that it’s obvious it’s not working. I’m going crazy in my head with why isn’t this working for me. I was still wide awake by 4 am the other night as my head hurts with so many painful thoughts. I wanted to hit my head against a wall.

    1. Bel,

      It doesn’t seem that your husband is able to hear your concerns and hurts at this point from what you have been describing. You could tell him that what he has done is hurting you if you believe God desires you to.

      But it sounds to me like your sense of being loved, valued, accepted, and cherished are very much tied up in how your husband treats you and what he does for you more than in who you are in Christ and what Jesus has done for you. Is that possible?

      Are there things you are holding back from God? Anything you are afraid to trust Him with?

      Have you read Absolute Surrender by Andrew Murray? That may be a good place to start.

      Have you searched my home page for “expectations” and read those posts?

      And the posts about making our husbands an idol?

      And the ones about finding contentment and security in Christ alone?

      Much love to you!

  12. April this is what Ive been trying to say. I just can’t seem to not care about what hurts me and how I feel sadness and pain from all this. It’s too hard when you live with it every day. I HAVE been praying to God to help me with idols and motives and trusting Him and getting my joy and contentment etc from Him but it’s not working. I don’t know how else to ask. I pray with tears so I dont know how I can be any more honest or open. I don’t feel I’m holding anything back at all. I know God knows me so there’d be no point. There’s nothing I don’t trust God with.
    I’ve ordered the books you recommended. I’ve read lots of posts but am still going.
    My sister called my husband yesterday and told him that I don’t deserve to be treated with such contempt. She said to him that everyone sees it. He said to her he is taking a break from the marriage and is enjoying it and doesn’t want to be too nice to me in case I start expecting more. I find this disgusting of him. I want to tell him if he still feels this way after a year off, and if he doesn’t want to be nice then to just go.
    Please try and understand. I am trying to do what you say. I’m a weak sinful hurting human and I know I can’t do it myself but I AM asking and begging Agod to help me. I’m scared and frustrated. Can anyone out there tell me how u can possibly smile at your husband and look cheerful while you know he hates you?? How do u ONLY care what God thinks of you?? If it only comes from Gods power then it’s not happening for me.
    April I feel you must be frustrated with me as you have to keep telling me the same things. I’m sorry. Something’s just not clicking. I’m ready to throw in the towel.

    1. Bel,

      I’m not frustrated with you. This does NOT come naturally. And it is a process of learning. There is a lot of emotion to deal with. It sounds like your husband is treating you pretty badly. I don’t know if you need to separate at this point – only God knows when/if you need to do that. What I do know is that as you learn to focus on Christ and learn to care only about what He thinks and about pleasing Him – He can empower you to love and act like He does. It is a supernatural thing. But it can take a LOT of time and wrestling to get to that point.

      I spent HOURS every day for 2.5 years begging God to help me understand, praying, reading God’s Word, studying, seeking Him and trying to learn to put Him first before things really began to click. This journey is PAINFUL even if a husband is not being hateful. It would be even more painful if a husband were being hateful. It is hard to learn to die to self. It is painful to tear out all the things that matter most to us and replace them with Christ – at first. It is hard to be willing to lay down our desires and dreams and to trust God with them with no guarantee about the outcome. It is counterintuitive to learn to value Christ more than anything or anyone else – but He is the Greatest Treasure. The good things we all long for are only found in Him. It is in the crying, the wrestling, the confusion, the not understanding – that we learn to come to Him.

      I don’t want your husband to mistreat you. There may be a point – and maybe that point is already here, I have no idea – where you may need to separate if he continues to be so hateful.

      Ultimately, though, the journey I am talking about is all about you and Jesus. It isn’t really about your husband and what he is or is not doing. God can give you the wisdom you need and the strength to respond in His power.

      Be patient with yourself, my precious sister. God can and will cause things to click for you – usually in stages – over a long period of time.

      The only way to smile at your husband when he acts like he hates you is by the power of the Spirit of God filling you up. Galatians 5:22-23 and I Corinthians 13:4-8, also Romans 12:13-21. You can smile just to bless him – looking at him with God’s eyes of love in the midst of his being ensnared and trapped by the enemy. You can look with God’s eyes of love when you are not expecting your husband to meet your deepest needs, but learn to expect God alone to meet your deepest needs.

      Not sure if you had a chance to read Absolute Surrender by Andrew Murray yet? I can’t keep up with what everyone has read already – my apologies!

      The goal, in the end, is to seek to obey God – not me. Do what you believe God desires you to do.

      How much time are you spending with Him? How much are you reading in the Bible each day? What are you praying for?

      Here is a post that might be helpful. I pray God will help things to click for you about what steps to take next, my sister! There Must Be More to This Journey Than Just Prayer!

      Here is the post, “Should I Stay or Should I Go?”

      Yes, you are hurting. And you have reason to hurt. You are being sinned against. That creates righteous anger. Sin hurts! But you can learn to take this hurt to God and to see it the way He does. Something that helped me a lot with learning to forgive and extend grace was to study the way Jesus responded to those who were crucifying Him. He forgave them and said, “they know not what they do.” Honestly, anyone who is living in sin doesn’t have the power of the Spirit of God in control and they don’t realize what they are doing or have the ability to do what is right at that moment. They are ensnared by the enemy. Your husband is not the real enemy. Satan is the real enemy. Satan is using your husband as a pawn right now.

      if your husband does not know Christ, he will spend eternity suffering in hell for his sins against you and God. God will bring about justice. But what we really want is for him to receive Christ and to be regenerated and made whole. If he comes to Christ, Jesus will pay fir his sins against you with His blood. My greatest concern for your husband is his salvation.

      This is a spiritual battle against demonic forces that want to destroy you, your husband, and your marriage. Realizing how sick or dead your husband is spiritually will help you understand why you can’t have expectations of him right now. He is brainwashed by the enemy. Your job is to cling to Christ and to allow Him to pour into you to heal you and into your marriage to bring healing. But it has to all be God’s power. You can’t do any of this on your own.

      If it is not happening for you yet, it is because there is more wrestling and praying to do and God will bring about illumination and understanding over time. That is okay.

      Don’t go to the New Year’s Eve thing if you don’t want to. Spend it with God. or do something with friends and family you will enjoy.

      it is also helpful to realize that your husband’s behavior is likely coming from a place of deep hurt. Focus on that, not the hatefulness.

      Do you have any spiritual support there with you at church or in your family?

      Sending you the biggest hug, my precious sister!

  13. Thank you April. This was helpful. This is all just so sad. I’m sad and scared for my daughters that they may go through this one day. Hopefully I will have learned enough by then to help them, thanks to you.
    How can my husband be so far from God even though he attends church each week? Is he not really listening? This is scary.
    I’m trying to read either the Bible or your posts each day. I have just received Love and Respect so have started that. I also pray every day, at night and through the day. It’s hard to fit it all in.
    I will keep going and try to be more patient and understanding.
    Thank you for the time and thought you give to us.

    1. Bel,

      This is very sad. My prayer is that God will work in your life, your husband’s life and your daughters’ lives and that God will show them a beautiful, holy, godly example through you.

      I vote to read the Bible every single day. That is the most powerful spiritual food. Ask God to speak to you. Start in Matthew, John, Romans, or Galatians – would be my suggestion. Try to carve time out for God’s Word and prayer for a minimum of 20-30 minutes. If you are reading love and respect, I would suggest skipping the parts that are for husbands. And keep in mind, if your husband is very angry and hateful – you may have to modify some things. The book Sacred Influence by Gary Thomas describes how godly wives have responded in real life situations to very angry, hateful husbands.

      Leslie Vernick has material about handling people who are very toxic. http://www.leslievernick.com/newsletter/091713-newsletter.html

      Sometimes, there is much waiting involved in our own spiritual healing and in the healing of our marriages and our husbands. If you are not safe – or if the situation is too toxic, please pray that God will show you how and when you may need to leave. But if you believe God wants you to stay, please pray that He will teach and change you and empower you to respond as He desires you to in order to please Him and to bless your husband and pour healing into the marriage and family.

      God is your lifeline. He is your power source. His Word is your food. His Spirit is your strength. When you are fully yielded to Him you seriously can have His peace even in the midst of a storm like this. Your husband cannot take away the gifts God has given to you. He can’t take you out of God’s hand. He can’t steal your joy in Christ or your peace. You can realize that he is not filled with Christ and that he is spiritually comatose or dead. Just because he goes to church – that means nothing. Millions of people sit in church every week who don’t know God at all. I sat in church 3 times a week, read my Bible daily, and prayed up to 4 hours per day and was filled with self, my own sinful flesh, bitterness, pride, control, idolatry, unbelief in God, resentment, and self-righteousness for many years. Going to church means nothing about our relationship with Christ.

      Galatians 5 reveals how we can tell if someone is controlled by the flesh or by the Spirit.

      Much love to you!

  14. Hi April. It’s been a while since I’ve commented. I’m not sure if this post is too old for a new comment. I’ve just finished Absolute Surrender. I don’t know whether it was his style of writing or just me, but I found it hard to concentrate and take it in and sometimes hard to understand. I think I will have to read it again. I’m sure I got the main message though. I’m just starting on For Women Only. I’m feeling stronger in myself and my faith. But I’ve been given another challenge and I really need your help. My husband has just booked himself a 5 day holiday for next week. No discussion or asking me anything. Just told me. It’s weird as he’s been showing me online where he’s staying and saying his cheap it is when you are on your own and he’s just so happy. I’m handling this way better than I usually would but my tummy is still flipping and I got teary (not in front of him) and feel a bit sick. Again it’s knowing he’s far away, drinking every night probably out for tea every night and the fact he hasn’t touched me in 14 months…….. I’m trying to keep the faith but I don’t know how I will go when he leaves and thinking about what he’s doing each night. I think he might be having a mid life crisis too maybe. He keeps saying how old he’s getting and he keeps spending money and saying he’s over working so hard and needs a huge break. Even a year off work. He has been a bit nicer lately though and tells me how much money we have coming in etc. but he’s also telling me his future plans and they don’t involve me at all. Hasn’t even asked what I might like to do. I know this shouldn’t be a surprise given he recently said he doesn’t see a future with me as we are too different, but I’m feeling like there’s a lot of mixed messages lately and I’m also trusting in God that our marriage will heal. I’m confused. I’m sad. I feel insecure about this holiday but actually at the same time think it’s just what he needs. I want to be able to trust him but I keep imagining a pretty woman showing him attention and he just can’t help it….The kids and I will be far away. . Please pray for me and my husband.

    1. Bel,

      Absolute Surrender is a bit deep. Yes. When I first read E. M. Bounds The Necessity of Prayer a few years ago, I felt like that. I could only do about 1-2 pages at a time. It took me a LONG time to read and try to absorb all the meat of what he was saying.

      The posts on my blog may be easier to read – you can search things like:

      – lordship of Christ
      – submission means we hold the things of this world loosely
      – discontentment
      – security
      – contentment
      – stages of this journey

      Goodness, it sounds like spiritual warfare is going on.

      I’m so glad you are feeling stronger in your faith. That is so important! God can heal your heart, mind, and soul no matter what happens with your husband. That is my first priority. YOU!

      Have you contacted Celebrate Recovery?

      Did your pastor and the elder meet with your husband yet?

      Would you please remind me if you and your husband are living together still or not?

      Please check out the post today and let’s pray together for God to thwart Satan’s plans for your husband and to bring him back to Himself. And let’s pray for God’s power, love, healing, wisdom, and discretion for you and that you will abide fully in Christ and allow God total control in your life, allowing Him to change you however He sees fit. We will pray for healing for you both and for your marriage and your children.

      Much love to you!

  15. Thank you so much April. We are still living together. We seem to get along fine. Like flat mates I guess. I’m not feeling like I should leave at the moment. That thought really scares me so maybe I’m just not giving it enough thought or prayer.
    I googled Celebrate Recovery. There is no group in my state and the site says it’s a meeting only thing. I feel like all of this is in Gods hand along with my marriage. I guess I could look at something near me but I doubt it will be faith based.
    Most of my time and energy is going to my teenage kids and some pretty heavy issues at the moment so I’ve put me on the back burner a bit. My husband knows about these issues and has been telling me he will talk to our kids for a year and a half now about boys but hasn’t found the time apparently. A year and a half. Im doing it on my own as I don’t want to keep nagging. But it’s ridiculous really and I get very frustrated and angry at him. He finds time to trawl the Internet for boats and other unnecessary things. But his head is in the sand about our kids. These kinds of things and the hatefulness he treats me with sometimes and the complete lack of care and affection of me makes me sometimes not want him back.
    I asked my pastor not to include the elders at this point as they are relatives, but he has confronted my husband personally. He took it pretty easy to start and just told my husband he knows we are struggling and said he is there for him to talk to if he needs to. Apparently my husband kinda laughed and just said he will think about it. My pastor doesn’t want to let it go completely and said he will message him now and then to see how he’s going and if he’s ready to talk. He is concerned that the more time that goes by, especially with no intimacy at all, we will just grow further apart until there’s nothing left. That is my fear as well.
    With this trip he’s going on, am I best to keep my fears and sadness to myself and act like it doesn’t bother me? I’m sure this is a test and if I had gone hysterical and cried and begged him not to go as I used to, he would say that u haven’t changed at all and he knew it. Do i get tough and just smile and wave him off? I don’t want to offer to help him get prepared to go. My sister thinks it was cruel to show me excitedly where he’s staying etc. I guess it was cruel but God must surely be giving me strength as I handled it really well actually. Im proud of myself. Thanks to God of course.
    Thank you for your prayers. They mean so much. I read again ‘resting in Christ’. I love that post.

    1. Bel,

      My apologies! I didn’t intend to skip this comment. 🙂

      If you don’t have a Celebrate Recovery around, is there an Al-Anon group you could meet with, perhaps? Is it possible that you may need to take a more proactive approach to finding help for yourself and your husband? It seems to me that the issues are pretty major. Are you waiting because you truly believe God wants you to wait or are you waiting because you are really afraid to stand up and speak against the drinking and the harsh treatment?

      If you have an alcoholic husband who is actively addicted, he is not in his right mind. He is not his real self. He cannot really lead the family well or be the husband and dad God desires him to be. Your family needs help. What you are describing with the pastor reaching out doesn’t sound like a confrontation. I’m glad he reached out, but is it possible that your husband needs you to allow the pastor and elders to be more involved?

      Is it possible that you could be enabling your husband’s alcoholism by not reaching out for more help?

      Have you ever studied “codependency”?

      Have you read any of Leslie Vernick’s posts?

      Much love to you!

  16. So I’m reading For Women Only and it’s making me very nervous. Just finished the chapter on the importance of sex to men and the chapter about visual temptations. With our situation and this holiday he’s going on I am very worried. I’ve really messed up. I just lost all interest in sex and I know now how much damage that has done. I used to justify my feelings by saying I’m not a ‘light switch’. He would be harsh with me all day and belittle me and then wonder why I wasn’t interested at night. It’s not rocket science to me but must be to him. What if I never get the chance to make this right?? I will always blame myself. He always told me I was to blame for all this. Seems he was right.

    1. Bel,

      I wonder if you might do some praying about how God might desire you to handle this information and what He might want you to do on your end to seek to move toward reconciliation? Perhaps you can think about the things your husband has said before, or gently ask some questions about things in the book – if he is receptive – and ask if that is how he feels. Maybe you can let him know you had no clue how he was thinking or feeling but that you want to try to understand his perspective and you want to seek to make things right on your end of things?

      I am sure you are not completely to blame. I’m sure he has sin in his own life to deal with. But you can work on your sin and your responsibility and your walk with Christ and allow Jesus to transform you. And we will trust Him to work in your husband’s heart, as well.

      Much love!

  17. April I’m just wondering if you saw my comment from 1st March as well. Just looking to your ideas on that.
    I don’t think my husband is going to be receptive at all to any questions I have on the subject matter from the book. He’s ‘taking a break from our marriage’ so definitely won’t want to think about any of this. I want to ask things, but with his holiday next week I think it will look to him like I’m trying to make him feel bad about going or that the trip has made me anxious again and now I’m trying to control him and this will reaffirm his thoughts that he can’t do this marriage. Everyone is telling me it’s weird that he’s going away by himself. In 20 years he has never done this. I’m really scared what this means.
    I have been Praying about what I read in the book. I just hate all of this.

  18. April, I’m not 100% sure why I’m waiting. I just seem to keep feeling like I need to stay quiet and just bless him where I can. I’m thinking that’s what God wants me to do. To just let Him deal with him. I’m always unsure if it’s Gods prompting. Maybe I AM scared if I bring it up he will leave. He’s told me that it will be over if I ask him to stop drinking. I just hope and pray God helps him to see he is drinking too much. I’m not sure why I don’t seem as bothered by his drinking anymore. I think he convinced me that as he works such long hard days easily and doesn’t hurt me or the kids or fall in bed drunk every night or have trouble getting up in the morning that it’s not that bad. But Yes I can go to Al-anon. I will look into that too along with co-dependency. There never seems to be enough hours in the day to do what I need to do. I get confused with the advice to leave my husband to God and stop trying in my own power to change things with having to do more in case I’m enabling bad behaviour.
    I do think the elders should be involved now but I know it could make things worse so I’m a bit nervous.
    I could be very wrong but he seems nicer lately than usual. Using “we” and “ours” in his sentences. Telling me lots of information and keeping me in the loop about things. It just doesn’t feel like it’s all over like he says it is. Or is he just doing it for the kids? Or for his conscience? Or to keep me around as he doesn’t believe in divorce? Anyway. I guess time will tell.

    1. Bel,

      I pray for God’s wisdom for you, my dear sister. I do hope you will check out AL-Anon and read about codependency. I didn’t have an alcoholic husband, but I was codependent for many years in our marriage. I have some posts about that. You can search my home page for:

      – control and boundaries
      – closeness in marriage
      – people pleasing
      – idol/idolatry (the ones about idolizing our husbands or people’s approval or wanting everyone to be happy with us)

      You can’t change your husband. But there are times when a wife needs to have boundaries – “I can’t live in this environment where it is very toxic for me and our children. I want you to get help.” That is not you controlling him, that is you making decisions based on his addiction and unwillingness to get help. Does that make sense?

      I don’t know all of the details of your situation. I have not been in a situation like this myself. I don’t know exactly what God might desire you to do. But I do pray you will seek Him wholeheartedly and that He will help you hear His voice clearly about what He desires you to do. I pray for God’s Spirit and His wisdom and all of the resources you need. I pray you will make decisions based on what will most honor God and most bless your husband in the long run, not out of fear. I pray you will be in a position where you are overflowing with the Spirit and power of God so that you can be very sensitive to His voice and prompting.

      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.

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