Marriage Missions International

Reconciling with a Wife Who Has Hardened Her Heart

“I’m trying everything I can, but my wife just doesn’t want to reconcile our marriage.”

“I’m doing all I know how to do, but my wife still wants a divorce.”

“My family is split apart, but my wife says ‘no’ to working on reconciling.”

Those are just three of many statements we’ve heard here at Marriage Missions, where the husband is seeking to restore and rebuild their broken marital relationship, and yet the wife will have no part of it.

They ask us for help and to be perfectly honest, we often aren’t sure how to help them. First off, Steve and I are not Marriage Counselors —we’re Marriage Educators. And many of these types of couples need more help than we can give them. When you’re talking about deep-seeded problems, which are complex and have been going on a long time before they approach us, it’s seldom something that can be resolved with an obvious solution.

But I’ve done some digging into trying to come up with at least SOME type of “answers” for husbands, hoping they will be a good starting point. When a person feels they are drowning ANYTHING of any substance is better than nothing, at least for the immediate moment. And that is what I’m offering here —something of substance to help you in your immediate desperation.

It’s a starting point, where you and God will work through this journey together and as see how God helps you to unravel this complicated situation. It may or may not end up with the result you desire. However, who knows? It may end up better. I don’t know. But when God is invited in, you can be sure that you will find a place of peace somehow, at some point in time. And it will be the best solution that you can grasp, given the fact that we live in a fallen world. However, with the Holy Spirit as your “Wonderful Counselor,” you have more going for you than any other way you could ever go.

That doesn’t mean that God won’t use other human counselors and advisors to help you at some point, but as the familiar term goes, “He’s got your back.”

The Bible says in Proverbs 30:21-23 that “Under three things the earth trembles…” One of those three things is “an unloved woman who is married.” Now you may be screaming out that you are WANTING to show her love and are willing to do what it takes to give her abundant love, but for some reason —one you and I may not understand, her availability to receive your love is slammed shut.

I don’t know if it is your fault, her fault, the fault of “the perfect storm” of emotions all tangled up, sin run amuck, and/or someone else’s fault. But whatever it is, it is. It’s best to work with what is, rather than look back, trying to wish things away —wish they never happened. They did. And now you work with what you CAN do, rather than what you wish you could do.

I’m going to present an article for you to read, to pray over and consider. It may or may not be for you (it may be for the next husband reading this, or even wife, because many of the same principles pointed out can apply to husband’s whose hearts have hardened) or there may be parts, which the Holy Spirit may use to speak to you. It’s the gleaning process, in action.

When given the opportunity, please read through it and ask the Lord to help you to keep your mind open to what He wants you to come to know. A good prayer for you to sincerely express to God may be:

Search me O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me
and lead me in the way everlasting.
(Psalm 139:23-24)

But the first thing I want to point out is that there is a reason your wife’s spirit is closed off to you. It may be one or many or all of the reasons I pointed out earlier, but you need to know that it didn’t happen overnight. It may seem to you that it did because of how it all came down. But in reality, it has been closing off to you for a while and it just now came to a final closure —one that opened your eyes to the final door slamming shut.

A number of years ago, I heard Dr Gary Smalley talk about the process of how a spouse’s spirit closes. He showed an open hand with all of the fingers splayed wide apart. He likened the heart being in the place of the palm of the hand. It’s the soft part of who they are and very vulnerable when nothing is protecting it.

And then he gave examples of different “events,” which can cause a spouse to close a protective finger here and there, over their heart because they felt too vulnerable to being hurt again by the “offending” spouse. Sometimes confession and repentance opens the fingers again. But sometimes, the offended spouse never opens up in the same way ever again.

He then showed that sometimes a spouse has been hurt so much over time, that he or she will completely close off in spirit, from the other spouse. The hand looks like a closed fist. There is no part of that “heart,” which is open and vulnerable to the way you can approach it. And sometimes it never opens again.

In his book, Winning Your Wife Back Before It’s Too Late, Gary Smalley writes the following:

Although there are probably hundreds of ways to offend your wife and close her spirit, we consistently see several that top the list. You can close your wife’s spirit by:

-speaking harsh words

-telling her that her opinions don’t matter

-being unwilling to admit when you are wrong

-taking her for granted

-making jokes or sarcastic comments at her expense

-not trusting her

-forcing her to do something that she’s uncomfortable with

-being rude to her in front of others

-dismissing her needs as unimportant

Your wife could probably make up her own list of the things you’ve done to close her spirit.

At our office in Branson, Missouri, we consistently get calls from men all around the world who are desperate because their wives just walked out the door. The most devastating part is that many of these men fail to realize that little by little, their actions closed their wives’s spirits. Because this happens internally, many men don’t realize they’ve offended their wives.

And one day the husband comes home to find his wife’s spirit rolled up in a tight ball, like a sow bug. You may not always be aware of what you do to deposit anger into the life of your loved one. However, when it comes to relationships, a preventative rule of thumb is this: whatever dishonors another person usually closes her spirit!

If you have been wondering why your wife left or perhaps why she resists your efforts at reconciliation, the answer is usually found in a closed spirit. The sad reality is, the more a man steps on the spirit of his wife, the more resistant she becomes to him.”

Gary goes on to then state the following:

“Our purpose in writing about a closed spirit is not to make you —who may find yourself with a closed sow bug, instead of an an open wife, feel guilty. It is to provide hope. I have done many things to close the spirit of my wife and the key to reconciliation is to learn how to reopen her spirit.”

I realize THAT’S what you are trying to do. Dr Smalley’s book gives you some ideas, which you may find helpful. They have worked for some husbands. They haven’t worked for others, but you never know until you pray, read, and see if God is leading you that way, so you may want to obtain the book to consider his advice.

I want to give one more illustration, before I move on from this point. I’m hoping it will help you to see what could have happened with your wife. It was written by someone named Camain, who asked for prayer on the Internet for his wife’s hardened heart. Referring to his wife, he wrote the following,

“Someone said that she is really hurt, and you’re right, she is. I may not have hit her, or degraded her, or anything like that, but it’s the little things that have added up over the years. Each of those little things was a brick in a wall, and little by little with time being the mortar, that was has gotten big and hardened.

“At first I tried to bang myself against it, repetitively hitting it. I can’t break this wall down though. The only thing that can is time, Gods help, patience and perseverance. I have to be patient, loving, and humble. I’m trying hard to find and identify all the issues that have caused harm to my marriage, no matter how big or small, and try to ask for forgiveness of them, and stop doing them.”

I can’t help but think of “the earth trembling” because of a wife who feels “unloved” so she closes her spirit, walled off from being open to her husband again —at least, not at this point.

True, we don’t know the circumstances. And true, sin is involved somewhere —you can count on it. But nonetheless, her spirit is closed.

I came across an article, which I referred to earlier, believing you will benefit from reading it. None of what has been said, nor will be said in this article, excuses sin. If it is the husband, the wife, and/or others, which sinned in some way, so the spirit of ANY spouse is closed off, it is wrong.

But hopefully, at least SOME of what the author, Reb Bradley has written will help in some way. At the end of this article, he offers additional resources. I need you to know that I don’t know much about Reb or his resources, so I can’t really recommend them. That is up to you.

All I can say is that I saw a lot of credibility in what I was able to glean and recommend you prayerfully consider all God shows you, which is important for your situation. Please click onto the following Familyministries.com link to read:

RECONCILIATION WITH A HARDENED WIFE

Above all, I hope that your ultimate goal is not ONLY to reconcile with your wife. If that is the case, your “solutions” will be most likely be temporary, when and if you do. Ultimately, I hope your ultimate goal is to go to GOD and make sure your life is clean —that you do not give your wife added “excuses” as to why she could remain closed in her spirit in reconciling with you.

Also, realize that giving forgiveness and reconciling the marriage are two separate steps. Your wife may have much, which she needs to forgive you for, and much she needs to surrender to the Lord. But that does not mean that she will have to reconcile with you in the way you desire, living as husband and wife again. If she doesn’t feel safe for some reason (whether it is physically, emotionally, spiritually, and/or emotionally), she may decide to forgive you, but she still will not live with you.

I can’t account for her actions, and neither can you. This is between her and God. And you will need to come to the place where you will live for God, EVEN IF your wife doesn’t join you in marriage again. Are you a man of God who can live like this? Are you a man after God’s own heart?

If you are, and you are sincere, then it seems to me that there is more hope for you that you can be reconciled to God AND to your wife. But I don’t know what your wife will do.

I do know though, that God wants to work in and through your life, whether your wife comes back or not. It is my sincerest hope you will participate with Him in this mission.

This article is written by Cindy Wright of Marriage Missions International.

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Comments

119 Responses to “Reconciling with a Wife Who Has Hardened Her Heart”
  1. Daniel says:

    (UNITED KINGDOM) If we have all done the best we can and cleared any things that are playing on our conscience, which is a hard thing because the sub conscience is hard to find then you’ve done your best and only destiny can take over. Trying too hard can be the worst thing and changing yourself for someone else is not going to be a good move. You have to be happy in yourself. Your partner will make her own discussion and will have to live with that. You have not giving up on her but that is the situation you are in and you cannot change that. But know you have done your best.

    And to the people who have given up on marriage, love is not perfect and you have to try stick with it. No person is perfect.

  2. Andrew says:

    (U.S.) I have changed within myself, that which caused my wife and I to part. I study God’s word every night and read books about problems I’ve had. A major problem with me is I need to stand up to my former wife. I really need to learn to do this. It will help us. Thank you, Andrew

    • HDW says:

      (USA) Former wife problem? Stop talking to her. Research “parallel parenting” (I assume you talk to her because you have children.) Make drop offs at neutral locations. There is usually no need to speak with an ex spouse.

  3. Sarah says:

    (PHILIPPINES) Hi, i’ve been married for 35 yrs. My husband has been repeatedly cheating since we’re on our 2nd yr of marriage. I’ve been keeping this from our family, siblings & friends until just recently I’ve decided to call it quits. I’m struck by this, which says we don’t need to have love for a marriage to work because it’s the covenant that we should keep for a marriage to work. With this am now thinking of giving my husband another chance. I just wonder how I could do this. I’ve talked to him and am willing to forget for as long as he’ll tell me the truth, admit & be sorry. Never did he say sorry for all the cheatings he has done. This we (w/ children) hope to hear from him. We’re both 59 yrs of age & I can’t imagine ourselves growing old all by ourselves in separate places. I am really praying this marriage be saved. Please help me pray.

    • Nadia says:

      (USA) Ma’am, he doesn’t respect you enough to say sorry but you want to work on it? I would like to know where in the Bible it says you don’t need love in marriage. I seem to recall adultery being the biblically acceptable reason for divorce in marriage. You are disrespecting yourself by sticking around. If you really have such low self worth, maybe that is why he cheated in the first place. Who can respect someone who doesn’t respect themselves?

      • Lorirayable says:

        (US) Exactly, my husband told me on Thanksgiving that he cheated prior to leaving to Japan because I had an abortion. I don’t understand why he didn’t just leave me for what I did. This was about 3 years ago and he still wanted to proceed with the ceremonial wedding. While he was stationed in Japan I planned the most beautiful wedding. It was the best day of our lives!

        Well this year 2012, we had sex once or twice and he made me feel humiliated as a woman. He didn’t want to make love to me because I wasn’t ready to be a mother. I felt punished. I would touch my own husband and he’d tell me to stop. Thanksgiving Day 2012, he tells me he cheated. I know he’s been cheating. He hurt me to the core. I thought I married a righteous guy. I was shocked to hear him say he cheated and made me realize the abortion was an excuse to use for his actions.

        I forgive him and I love him but he betrayed me and I cannot forgive him. He is so cold that I would think he look for me and apologize but nothing. He threw me away as if he never loved me. It’s ok ray I was a wife, a friend and never betrayed you. I leave with a clean slate and wish you luck !!

      • David from Canada says:

        Where in the Bible does it say you need love? In fact it says the opposite. Love is a feeling, which ebbs and flows and in a long term relationship such as a marriage need to stick with (honour) your vows. Wow! I’m glad I’m not married to you – seems at the first sight of trouble and when your love may ebb that you would immediately give up.

  4. DANIELLE says:

    (USA) Hello I am a newly married couple and have already faced a downward spiral in my marriage. I have been lied to, cheated on, and have much resentment towards my husband. Please understand that I love him deeply, but I have also gotten to the point where I am ready to give up. I am deeply in love with God and I have no intent on divorcing but I’m afraid that if me and my husband keep going down the route that we are going that is what’s going to happen. I’ve been very vulnerable with him and trusted him with my heart and he took my love for granted by sleeping with another woman.

    I’m hurting and want to reconcile. I guess my question is how do I do this? I pray everyday and I sincerely love God and believe in his word and promises but I’m just a little bitter by my husband’s actions and selfishness. Please advise.

  5. Nathan says:

    (NEW ZEALAND) Wow, just the information I have been searching for. It all makes sense to me now. I have been separated from my wife for 4 months now and I am that guy who is prepared to do anything to reconcile our marriage. From week one of our separation my wife has placed conditions on us getting back together. But everytime I meet an objective, the goal posts were shifted and another objective was put in place.

    After a few months of fustration, I have realised what my wife wants, and probably has wanted for sometime. I have always thought that I was a good husband, not perfect, but good none the less. I now realise that I was not treating my wife the way a man is supposed to, to honor her emotionally, financially, spiritually, parentaly, verbally, phisically, practically and maritally. If I was doing my job properly then she would feel loved and have the things that she deserves.

    I am a new Christian and am doing all I can to change my life and live by new principles, including honoring my wife in these areas. My problem is I feel it may be a little too late. My wife is on the fence and is having trouble trusting that I can achieve all this. It is a challenge indeed for me, but I have accepted this challenge and want to live a christian centered live. What has happened since we have been separated is there are now other men offering their services to my wife, which has planted a seed in her mind. I feel her heart has hardened and I fear it is too late. I hate the thought of these other greasy men trying to win over my wife, but it is my own fault for allowing it to get to this point.

    On a positive, I have a new direction in life, and am now walking the narrow path to new principles and a new character. Men, turn away from the wide path and temptation and love your wives the way jesus loves the church! My marriage is now in God’s hands. Greasy Gary’s, grrrrrrr!

  6. Jacquilyn says:

    (PHILIPPINES) Hello, I am also a woman with a hard heart. I have been separated from my husband for a year. We were married for three years. It started when his mother and some of his relatives started meddling with our marital problems especially financially, and my husband and his mother asked me to leave their house because I was a threat to their son who was their breadwinner. They cursed me and my husband verbally maligned me in front of our neighbors.

    After a month of leaving our conjugal house, my husband wanted to get the custody of our child so he has hit me twice in my father’s house. He has verbally accused me that I was a lazy, bad mother and a money hungered wife to many witnesses in our area. I could only take so much of repeated humiliation until such time I could no longer feel anything for him. He visits my son but I see him as a stranger. For months I was blaming myself for not saving our marriage but the experience was hurtful that I had weight loss and sleepless nights, afraid of going outside because of my husband’s accusations against me. I am a working mother, even we got married. I was surprised when he said I loved my work over my son and him. Many times I was on leave to just attend their needs.

  7. Rahul says:

    (INDIA) I loved one girl for 4 years and we married in civil. After that she started getting proposals at her home so I told her, tell your parents that we are married. From that day they hid her and made her completely change. Now, they have filed for divorce and she completely forgot me. They made black magic… Help me, Ramesh

  8. Daniel says:

    (UNITED STATES) I separated from my husband 2 years ago. I felt unloved, my opinions did not matter. The late nights hanging out at the club. When we met I was so deep into the love of Christ and the church. I washed and ironed his clothes, had hot meals cooked. Prayed when to church faithfully. I love God with all my heart. Over the years it seems his behavior and disrespect had gotten worse. I married him until death do us part. My heart recently became hardened to him after just being tired of chasing him, being lonely on the weekend. Being taken for granted by him. Being the last concern in his life. I wrestle with filing for divorce daily. I get no financial support from him. Prayerful but confused. 20 years of marriage.

    • RS from United States says:

      I have done the very same thing to my wife without intent. My wife is a great woman. I never understood what she needed until she told me she was leaving and did. There is a book called The 5 Love Languages that only if I knew it, it would have made a great difference in our marriage. TRY IT & MAKE SURE HE READS IT.

  9. Herie says:

    (TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO) To all of you who are going through this ordeal, like the saying goes< “you’ve got to experience it to know the hurt that a person is feeling.”

    I have been married for 8 years and have been living seperately from my wife for 5 years by her choice, but we maintained our sexual relationship as I vowed to be faithful. However, as she became sucessfull in her career as a police officer she got influenced by the friends she chose who encouraged her to be unfaithful which she has chosen to end our marriage. I find it very hard to understand it when she tells me that she will always love me but we can not be together.

    But I love her with all my heart and soul and body. So to all of you genuine faithful people out there…Let GOD be your guiding light, and no wound is to deep for time to heal. As I have reached the edge and turned back.

  10. David says:

    (USA) I have been married for over 20 years to a wonderful woman. I never made her a priority in my life. Instead I just wanted to drink and entertain people. I would become verbally abusive when I drank. She has now a hardened heart towards me. We have been separated through a healing process by way of our church for 30 days of a 90 day period. We are both Christians but she has been the devoted Christian in our marriage. I have finally begun my spiritual walk with God and it feels really good. I ask that you pray for my marriage and for my wife and that God will heal her heart and that she will forgive me. I do love her dearly and God knows this. Thank You.

  11. Keo says:

    (USA) You without sin cast the first stone. Secondly, stop being the victum. And finally the scriptures say all things are reconciled through Christ. Recieve the righousness of Christ. Your self righousness will eventually crumble. I’ve been separated for 3 years and my spouse has done just about every vile cruel thing imaginable. But I still would take her back. I don’t need her, but I see her for who she really is, the daughter of the king. I long to hear the words I’m sorry, come home. We all can tell when someone is sincere, not that they won’t still fail, but all I have is Christ, my only chance for salvation. I say all this in meekness and humility, but boldness, so you may have an encounter with God, which always leads to more abundance.

  12. Justin says:

    (USA) I have been married to my wife 3 and 1/2 years and this is the first marriage for both of us. We are both committed Christians and had a wonderful relationship for quite some time. Then the hard years set in. I was injured at my job almost 2 years ago in both knees and my back. I was out of work from March 2011 until July 2012. I was no longer physically able to work at my old position but thanks to God’s grace and a lot of calling around, I was able to apply to another position within my company.

    Now I had the option of just staying home and recovering from my injuries and would still be covered by worker’s comp checks to this day, but I decided to be proactive to ensure the future stability of my family. During this time my wife and I started growing apart: I wasn’t able to be as active as I was before and she started going out more without me. When I started my new position I was back at the bottom of seniority since I was in a new department and that meant working long shifts throughout the weekends (the only days my wife is off).

    On my days off she doesn’t get home until around 6 pm and still has to shower etc for work the next day. Since she needs to go to bed around 11 pm, that gave us about 4 possible hours together on each of my days off (3) and around 1 hour together on each of her days off (2). Not to mention she has other activities like Zumba that would take away from some of that time.

    Also a little less than a year ago she started acting in independant films in the city. At first I thought this would be a nice hobby for her as I have my hobbies of comic book collecting and video games. Unfortunately she became more and more involved, auditioning (and getting) role after role and being away much more often. This also brought a new circle of people into her life and she started hanging out with them more often and even going to clubs and such. I have never been possesive with her and 95% of the time never had a problem with her going out as long as she told me where she would be and with whom for safety reasons.

    Towards the end of this past summer she stayed out excessively late one night (like 3-4 am) and I was very upset for many reasons. I tried to explain to her that 1. it was a work night for me and it was hard for me to go to bed until I knew she was home safe and 2. that it wasn’t appropriate behavior for a Christian married 30+ year old. She apologized and we were ok for a few weeks until she did it again, and then a 3rd and 4th time. Each time I become increasingly frustrated and bitterness started to take hold. Further complicating the matter was that my off days were spent mostly doing our housework and chores as well as writing and paying the bills and her days off were spent being in her movies and going out with friends. Her only responsibility other than going to work was to clean a small bathroom once every 2 weeks and make sure her dirty clothes were in the hamper for when I did the wash.

    This began to build up resentment in my heart and I could feel myself closing off. This whole time we began to argue more often and I’m embarrassed and ashamed to say that I raised my voice to her more and more often. I was never violent but I admit there are plenty of things I said that would like to take back. What I failed to realize is that she was making efforts albeit slowly, such as: making me tea in the morning on her off days as well as cutting me fresh vegtables to take to work. It was also a little over a month that she didn’t stay out too late. However, it seems my patience and strength were already worn thin. We would try to go out together but usually end up talking about how we weren’t getting along.

    Since around Thanksgiving she started asking if we could seek marital counselling, but I said no because much of my free time was already being spent doing a majority of the housework and at physical therapy and countless Drs. appointments. I also tried to express to her that she actually needed to make US a priority and be home more often so we could work on things together before we had to escalate to counseling. Needless to say I repeatedly declined counseling and she repeatedly declined to work on it together until finally last week she left to go live at her parents’ house while I was at work.

    This week has been the most difficult that I can remember. I have reviewed all the mistakes and bad decisions I have made lately and owned up to them to her. I also have set up sessions with Christian marital mentors as well as a proffesional marriage therapist for both of us. I have been scouring the internet trying to find ways for us to work on this together while we wait for our appointments. But once again I am feeling like I am doing all the work. All I have asked from her is to come back home so that we can begin to heal and pray and work on getting to be better partners for each other.

    Yet no matter how much I have shown her of my efforts to be a better husband she still will not come back, even on a trial basis. I even told her this morning that all I ask is she come home besides that she can set all the boundries, I offered to sleep in the spare room, even to only be in the same room with her when she requested it. I know I should’ve never raised my voice to her and I should’ve heard her cries for help and sought counseling sooner, but now I am hurting so much and I keep praying to God to soften her heart and see the efforts I am making because I love her so much.

    I don’t know if I’m strong enough to keep this up without her at least taking that one step I ask of her. The time without her is unbearable and it seems no matter how much I do or how much info I send to her I can’t seem to get through to her. Please pray for us and offer any advice for getting her back asap. I am working so hard but I can feel my heart beginning to harden again and bitterness is trying to get back in and I don’t know how much more I can take before I give up completely.

    • Cindy Wright says:

      Justin, I totally understand how tiring it can be and how much you could want to give up. I’ve been there. Years ago I almost gave up. I was sick and tired of being the one who appeared to make all the effort. But I’m so glad that I didn’t. My husband and I have built a GREAT marriage. I’ve learned a few things along the way.

      One of them goes along with what you said in the beginning, that you are both “committed Christians.” Keep in mind that being Christians means that you are followers of Christ. Christ doesn’t give up. Perseverance is important in the Christian walk… as hard as it is, that’s what we are to do, persevere in the face of what seems impossible. The thing is though, that with God’s guidance, we are able to do it. I learned that when I felt like I was ready to give up, I had to dig in all the more and keep at it. Someone apparently needs to be the hero in your marriage (just as I learned that I needed to be one). Giving up is not supposed to be an option we are to grab.

      What you describe in your marriage seems impossible. But from what I read, it isn’t as impossible as it seems. It’s actually pretty “normal”, even though it doesn’t seem like it. Yes, to get this relationship headed in a better direction will take heroism. And yes, it will take intentionality and perseverance, even when you are so very tired and disheartened at times.

      When the Lord made it known to me that being a committed Christian meant more than saying I was committed, but actually showing it by persevering through the toughest of times in our marriage, I did what I could from that day forward. I realized that I wasn’t responsible for my husband Steve’s behavior, but I was responsible for mine. What I found was that as I put effort into doing my part, it was as if it little by little inspired my husband to eventually start to participate and eventually come fully on board. Working on our marriage (we will be married 41 years in March) is something we know we will need to do for the rest of our lives… and believe me, it’s worth it. We gave a terrific marriage.

      Please consider reading through various topics of our web site, The Romantic Ideas, For Married Men, Save My Marriage, and Communication and Conflict, to name a few. There is a lot of info there that I have no doubt could help. There are no guarantees, but I have no doubt that they can be a great place to start, other than prayer.

      Also, there are a few books I highly recommend. They will help to give you a good base from which you can build. The books, Sacred Marriage, and also the book,Devotions for a Sacred Marriage: A Year of Weekly Devotions for Couples both written by Gary Thomas. The devotional book would be good if you can get your wife to do one of them a week with you and discuss each devotion together. You both need to start rebuilding your relationship together, and your relationship as a Christian couple with Christ leading the way. There is a difference between saying you are Christians and following Christ as a Believers in a Christ-led marriage. Gary has a GREAT way of helping to put things in perspective.

      I hope this helps in some way. I pray for your marriage and that your wife will be open to working WITH you on building your relationship again –this time in a wiser way. (My husband and I have been there and have done that and there is a tremendous difference in building with blueprints in front of you and Christ as your architect, and doing it the “natural” way –which essentially is hit or miss.)

      • Justin says:

        (USA) Thank you for your encouragement. I have been reading it daily. My wife isn’t taking my calls and says she needs time and space. But it is that time and space that is killing me. How can I soften her heart so she will spend time with me to work on all these marriage builders that I have been working on?

  13. Loney says:

    (ZIMBABWE) My husband of 10 years despises me; he will say some words as if I don’t think. He is a deacon and highly respected man of God but at home he is very cold. He can spend 1 hour on the phone not talking to me or our kids. He will send spiritual messages on facebooks as if he is counselling other fellow breherens but failing to make happy his immediate family. Sometimes he will say harsh words to me. I used to cry but of late I discovered I have developed harsh words in return. I know that is bad but he is forcing me. I always make calls to check how he is doing at work during the day but he does not put any effort to phone me. He will phone other people with airtime I would have given him.

    When there is a problem he doesn’t want to solve it. He is good at solving church problems and his brothers problems. At church and my family he is known of having good character and man of faith but to me he is hostile. Because of that am not even having feelings for him. We will spend almost 3weeks sleeping in one bed but yet no sex.

    If you read this mail please pray for us, this marriage must work because we are role models of many people in the family his and mine. I hate living a fake life. I am asking God everyday to fill his empty love space where no one can feel. Please pray for for us.

  14. Bibek says:

    (INDIA) I want to know which type of life partner will come to my life…

  15. Alan says:

    (UNITED STATES) My wife and I have been married for almost 6 years. She hasn’t slept in the same bed with me for about 6 months. We got married after our daughter was born. She also has two boys 17 and 19. When I met her her life was in a downward spiral. She has said I saved her. She said marrying me was the right thing to do at the time. Our marriage has slowly been growing apart through the years, both of our faults for not communicating like we should have. And now she has cheated on me. She lied about it at first but I finally found out the truth. She says she’s an unmarriable woman but I dissagree. She says she tired of having to be responsible after doing it for 19 yrs. Her heart is closed and she says she doesn’t see a happy future for us. She is seeing a councelor for her problems but not ours. I still want to give everything in my power to have this marriage work. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  16. Dgr says:

    (USA) My wife and I had a rocky relationship. I recently found out she had an emotional affair with my friend. Nothing physical happened but afterward she completely hardened her heart towards me and is blaming me for all our problems. Asking for a divorce. We have 4 great kids and this breaks my heart. How can I soften her heart? She treats me with no emotion or hope we could work it out. She has completely put up a wall. I’ll keep praying. Does a seperation help soften hearts? Keep my family in your prayers.

    • Tony says:

      (USA) Dgr, Sorry you are going through this. Separation just makes it easier for the unfaithful spouse to carry on the affair. Plus, if you leave your home and she files for divorce, she can seek custody of the children based on the current situation, she is in the home with the children and you are on the outside. If you are committed to reconciling your marriage, the separation is usually not a good move.

      If she’s willing to be part of a controlled separation, where she moves in with a woman who will be her mentor and accountability partner, then I would advise separation. If she is seeking separation, tell her she is free to go and you’ll remain here and take care of the children and marital home until she decides how she is going to approach her marriage.

      But under no circumstances let her take the children out of her home or allow her to force you out of your home and away from your children. Separation allows her to live the fantasy of the affair without immediate consequences. Emotional affairs are a damaging as physical, if not more because the people involved do fall in love.

      The only chance you have for fixing hinges on two things:

      1. Disrupt the fantasy of the affair. If it’s on-going, expose the affair. Start with the affair partner. Make sure his spouse and/or family knows that he is carrying on with a married woman.

      2. End any love busting behavior and meet any emotional needs she will let you meet.

      You will hear all sorts of threats as a result of the first because affairs are like drugs and by exposing, you are threatening the supply of the object of their addiction.

      But if the supply is not cut off, you will not be able to accomplish the second. You will be compared to the fantasy man and everything you do will be considered a love buster. Too little, too late, not good enough, etc. Your day to day real-life cannot stand up to the fantasy life of an affair. They don’t have to pay bills, do chores, etc. This makes the affair, emotional or physical nothing more than fantasy.

      The last resort is usually after two years, in most cases, the fantasy has worn off and the affair partners do see the reality of one another.

      If you find this is the case, consistent application of the second step above will help her see that you are a better choice than her affair partner. It doesn’t always work, but it’s your best shot.

  17. Ethan says:

    (SC, USA) I need some advice. I am 25 and my wife is 37. She had 4 children through 3 other men before we met. All of them didn’t want kids so they left. One came back and actually stepped up and helped her. (Kudos for stepping up)

    We have been married for 2.5 years but been together for 5. I love her and the kids with all my heart and soul and know that she is a wonderful woman. For a while now she has been growing more distant from me and when she is distant she distances the kids from me. I am relentless to be the best father and husband that I can be. The kids especially need a positive male figure in their lives. I bust my butt at work, come home and try to spend time with all of my kids and my wife. I clean, I fix things around the house, I do everything she asks of me and nothing is ever good enough.

    Its one thing to feel “not good enough” but to have your wife tell you that your best just isn’t good enough is another thing. She wants me to move out in the next month, she refuses to sleep in the bed with me, but instead sleeps with the children. She doesn’t touch me, kiss me, hug me or say she loves me anymore. I know that I don’t meet up to her standards, but then again she isn’t perfect either. The difference is I accept her humanity for who she is, not what she can or can’t do. Finances are tight, really really tight. Raising 4 kids and a mother-in-law with $25,000 a year is rough, nevertheless, I have vowed not to give up and to do my very best. I have been seearching for a better job for months through a lot of applications and no luck.

    They are ultimately her kids, her house, her family and if she doesn’t want me there, then I see that my hands are tied, and no amount of effort or unconditional love will do anything to change it. I love them with all my heart and never want to leave them. They have been through that pain enough. I just want my wife to see that I am not perfect, but I work as hard as I can to be the best husband and stepfather for her and the kids.

    So my question is…What do you do when your absolute best is still not good enough for your wife and kids?

    • Tony says:

      (USA) You have no kids with her and she doesn’t appreciate your efforts. What do you do? You say goodbye if that’s what she wants. Say it before you have a child with her.

      • LR says:

        (USA) ETHAN I will pray for you. Your story is so touching. Just pray for her and the children. Keep on serving God –by caring for your family. Take the HIGH ROAD and you’ll come through this –maybe it will turn around and you will win. Maybe not, maybe you will suffer through loss –but God will work out everything for your ULTIMATE GOOD. I will pray and pray for you (and the wife and kids) and THEN –PRAY some MORE! LR

    • Kate says:

      (UK) Wow! I cannot believe she cannot see what you are doing for her. I wish my own husband was that dedicated unfortunately thats not so. From a womans perspective and I dont think it’s whats not good enough for her, I believe she is just hurt from her past and doesn’t want to make that same mistake. Don’t leave her even if she says to, just stay. Keep doing what you are doing for them and dont expect much. One day she will come back to you. All you have to do is pray, listen with your heart and understand her, which you already have. Don’t give her up, until she calls the cops or takes you to court then you know it’s over…God bless and good luck.

  18. Ethan says:

    (USA) I’ve been there for the kids longer than any other male figure in there life. I’ve helped them through physical, emotional and spiritual battles. They need me now more than anything in this world, whether she will admit it or not. I have grown to love the kids as my own, as they have me. If I leave and not help them financially, emotionally, and spiritually, they will suffer much more than they already are. I don’t want that. They have suffered enough through the years feeling neglected by their biological fathers. Years of neglect has lead to eating disorders, chronic depression, and anxiety. Yes, they may not be my biological kids and I may not have any legal obligation to them, but I have a moral obligation to love them and to help them however I can as much as I can.

    As for my wife, she is a very wonderful and Godly woman. She is a strong woman and was an independant single mom since she was 15. She just has developed over time unrealistic standards and expectations of me. How or can I change this?

    • Tony says:

      (USA) You can’t change her expectations. Can she change your expectation about her behavior? Unlikely.

      Since one cannot change another person, you have to decide if you are going to live with the circumstance or not.

  19. Leelee says:

    (USA) I am a wife with a hardened heart toward my husband. I am torn and tired of trying to figure out what to do. I know God wants marriage to be for a lifetime and that we are called to forgive others but my heart is numb to my husband. I just can’t feel toward him like I used to feel. I don’t hate him and I even hurt to see him hurting now because I have closed off but I can’t bring myself to be close to him and don’t know how to change that. He has been verbally and emotionally abusive with me throughout our marriage, physically violent with me on three occassions, and looks down on me as a burden to him. He does do some good things but the bad things hurt so bad they overshadow the good. I don’t feel I can trust him or that really loves me. He says he is trying now and he has changed some of his behavior to be more helpful or kind, but his overall attitude and the things he says to me let me know that he does not realize the wrong he has done to me … he still minimizes it and says I’m just unforgiving. Most days I want out and away from him but I haven’t brought myself to file for seperation or divorce yet. I don’t know if it is just that I fear I will be displeasing God and fear being on my own or if there is something left. I have been in limbo for almost a year now .. no physical relationship because I just cannot… he makes me feel guilty “depriving” him and I just need the prayers of other believers. I want to live a life for the Lord and obey him but he surely doesn’t want a child of his to be treated the way I have been. Please pray for me to know God’s will and to do what He desires for me. Thank you.

    • Tony says:

      (USA) Leelee, I’m sorry you find yourself in such a tough situation. My comment is that from my vantage point, there is not one, but two people minimizing their contribution to the state of the marriage. You devote far more of your writing about the bad things he’s done and how you feel, but drop only a few casual references to how he might feel and how your position on the matter may be hurting him.

      I agree, you need to see if the changes are permanent. However, that doesn’t dismiss you from considering that his complaints have as much merit as yours. In other words, you say his bad overshadows the good, but then you discount the idea that he considers you a burden. Which, when put in other words, from the perspective of your husband, your bad overshadows your good.

      I’m not saying stick around and be a punching bag. I’m saying consider that he is hurting as badly as you are and that both you and he have chosen unhealthy and unfruitful means of dealing with the hurt inflicted upon one another.

  20. Mark says:

    (USA) It has been 4 years since my wife has left me. We are still married, neither of us has filed from divorce and I’m praying she comes back to me. After reading this article I can see that she has been closed to me for a long time and I just feel like I don’t know what to do. I still send her gifts at Christmas and flowers for Valentines and things like that but she still seems hard. When I do speak to her there seems to be a wall that I don’t know how to break down. I’m tired of being alone and desire to have my wife back, please pray for God’s restoration which I know is His will.

    • Kate says:

      (UK) I hope she sees your love for her. I pray for you and your wife. I wish my husband would be as dedicated as you. God bless

  21. Kate says:

    (UK) I have a closed spirit and hardened heart towards my husband. Over time our issues have not been resolved how I would like it through marriage counselling and prayer, but my husband doesnt want it either. He says he doesnt believe in it even though he says he loves me and says he has tried everything to work things out. He has pushed me to hate marriage and not want a family with him or any other man in the near future. Our issues involve dirty chats he had on facebook with a woman who I hate so much. I confronted her on his account and she fought back calling me names and swearing at me. My husband did nothing to stand up for me.

    During our relationship when I was pregnant he would do what ever he wanted and expected me to understand, but I had gone through a surgery, and suffered pre-eclampsia. I wish instead of him accusing me of cheating and not trusting me, that he would just support me and help me not get so angry or it would affect mine and babys health. So I left those issues and easily forgave him just so I do not put my health at risk.

    When I gave birth, I thought he would change, instead he acted like a big baby and didn’t help me much with our child. All he did was insult the way I held our baby or what I was doing. When he left the country for work, our daughter was only 3 weeks old. Of course I missed him and still loved him. But 2 months later I find dirty chats with another woman. I must say this is the issue that knocked my trust down completely and since then, 4 months ago, my spirit began to shut down. I find it hard to trust him. He doesn’t help me trust. He assumes that all will be forgiven and forgotten. But certain things revive this feeling of absolute betrayal.

    I still love him but i dont want to show it anymore for fear of being mocked and insulted. I have separated from him and he just doesnt get how damaging even a chat can be as well as, judging me, being unappreciated and just confused. He says he doesnt like the relationship, then when i say it he says he is sorry and wants me back. I am done trying to understand this man. I wish and ask only of the Lord and any of you to please pray for my husband that he opens his mind and heart to the hurt he has caused. I also want to ask if you could pray for my little girl. I just want her to someday have a good father figure as i have never had my dad since he died when i was two years old. Thank you

  22. Ruth says:

    (SOUTH AFRICA) This is so true, I can totally relate and understand how a wife’s heart gets hardened and I am watching my husband suddenly waking up and is surprised by the situation and is wondering how it all happened.

    The saddest part is my husband is so argumentative such that I just have no strength to describe what has brought me to this point because he will just argue instead of listening. It’s painful to get to this point. I pray God may come to our aid.

  23. Melissa says:

    (UNITED STATES) Why does marriage and life have to be so tough? I pray a lot, I am thankful for what I have but I too have a hardened heart. I’ve been married before to someone abusive and am currently married to a person who makes priorities in our marriage that are different than my own. While we’re usually on the same page lately we are not. He has taken a job as an over the road truck driver, so far gone for 8 months and been home only 2 times since. I am basically a single Mom, work full time and he gives me no credit for any of it, he just sees what I don’t give to him.

    I’m 3000 miles away on any given day and while I make efforts to call, yes, my heart is breaking. I feel love for nothing and really the only person who matters right now in my life is our daughter. I don’t get it. I’m committed to our marriage and family, yet he tries to come up with reasons not to be & talks about how miserable he is. Happiness is a state of mind -you decide. I’m to the point that if he pushes for a separation, I’ll go along with it while hardening my heart even more. I pray to God that since we’re struggling so hard right now that we’re closer to victory or are we closer to defeat?

  24. Paul says:

    (CANADA) My wife left me 16 months ago. We had been married for 23 years. Mostly good years in my memory but not in hers. She doesn’t seem to be the sweet, kind and honest girl that I married and has now hardened her heart to me. There is no one else in the picture. We have 3 chirdren, one still living at home, well in my wife’s home.

    I tried to be the best husband and father I could be. I pray that Jesus helps my wife and I reunite and if this is not his will, help me move on from my pain. I pray the same for us all here.

    • Cindy Wright says:

      So sorry Paul, for the pain you are going through. Relationships are so complex, and can be so heart-breaking when they go in a bad direction. I understand that all too well. You say that “if this is not His (God’s) will” for you to reunite, then you’re asking Him to help you move on from the pain. I can say with all certainty that it IS His will for you both to reunite. But God will not impose His will upon His children. Your wife has the freedom of choice to go God’s way and work with you and with Him to rebuild your marriage, or go her way. Right now it appears she is going her way. I don’t know all of the circumstances that moved her in this direction, but right now it appears that her heart is not open to change. That is sad on so many levels.

      I don’t want you to think that there isn’t hope, because there can be. But she must be willing. In the meantime, the best you can do while waiting to see if she will have a change in heart is to wait in prayer. Pray for wisdom, for God to continually talk to your wife, and for you to learn what you need to, while in this waiting room time. With His guidance, work out your own issues that you can under the circumstances. Don’t allow your wife’s unwillingness to do so, be your excuse not to grow. And while waiting, do the best you can to guard your heart (because you would be vulnerable to opening it to someone else who gives you attention –even the strongest of men and women can be vulnerable in an unguarded moment). Another thing is to keep busy in healthy ways so your every thought is not consumed with looking at what you don’t presently have, but instead are able to fill the time with that, which you do and can have. But choose wisely.

      There are 3 things that a good relationship must have in order for it to grow in healthy ways. There must be kindness, respect, and honesty. When one or more of these are lacking, the relationship suffers and can become toxic. Do what you can to build those character traits in yourself in how you deal with your wife (even though she is not doing so). And work on building your relationship using those principles with your children, to the best of your ability. Also, find healthy outlets for the time you have available. 16 months of separation can seem like an eternity… and to us, as human beings, it is. But in light of what you promised (giving yourself to your wife for a lifetime) it is not. Keep that in mind. Ask the Lord to help you in your pain. Ask Him to help you to find a new and healthy focus for the time you have available each day. It may not be what you want, but it is what you have handed to you.

      You sound like a good man. I pray you grow as a man in ways that will be inspiring to your children and to others. And hopefully, prayerfully, your wife will notice and will want to be a part of your life again. This should not be your main motivation, because if it is, then it will fizzle if you get her back. That would be worse than what you have now. You want to grow in a healthy, sustainable way. I hope you will. I pray God will help you.

  25. John from United States says:

    Hello my name is John. I’m going through divorce now after 16 years of marriage and over a year separated :-( I’ve tried to keep faith and trust in God. I pray till I pass out. Her heart is hardened and she’s having nothing to do with counsel. She says why should I if you wouldn’t then and will not discuss us at all? I’m at my last bit of hope and trying to believe God can change her heart. Can someone help me pray for us and ask Jesus to plea my case to the Father in Heaven?

  26. K2jr1 from United States says:

    I am in the same situation. My wife of 20 years has hardened her heart. Neither of us has had affairs or use alcohol but life has taken a toll on our marriage. We have two boys; the youngest is 6 and our other son is special needs.

    I began to notice after our youngest son was born that she was so preoccupied with the kids she would have nothing to do with me physically or emotionally. I thought it was just the ages they were and the stress of being at home all day was draining her. We got into a rut and our marriage was neglected. She went back to work about a month ago part-time and she got so consumed with work that I became very frustrated as well as with the company that I worked for was collapsing and layoffs were a quarterly event. I became consumed about finding a better job and did land one.

    In the meantime she grew colder and more distant. Things blew up about a month ago and although I realize that I had neglected her needs she will not forgive me and says it’s too late. Although I have apologized over and over it has no effect. She doesn’t want to rebuild our marriage and says she wants to do what’s best for the kids. I have told her over and over that the best thing we could do for our kids is work on our marriage but nothing seems to phase her. We are both Christians but she now has no interest in going to church and says she can’t be phony and that I am a hypocrite.

    I have asked her to go to counseling but she is not interested and has more interest in her work and friends that our marriage. I have told her that I want to reconcile and make a fresh start but she is more interested in how happy she would be by having her freedom. I thought there might be someone else but I don’t think so she has just shut down. I am ready to give up. I have offered to take her out on dates and she wants nothing to do with me. I am so tired of having the door shut in my face and am ready to give up.

    I just can’t believe that after 20 years of marriage that there is nothing in her heart for me. I even asked her that and told her that I still love her and feel strongly for her but she is so hardened nothing I say means anything. I’m praying that God will humble her and soften her heart but I am very disillusioned because I know that deep down this is not right and I want to please God. I know that I am not perfect but I have told her that and that I would like to try and rebuild our marriage not dismantle it. I’m going to try and be patient but it is hard when you want to do the right thing and your spouse is not interested. Please pray for reconciliation. I don’t want to see my marriage fail or be separated from my two boy who I love dearly.

    • DrummerDad from United States says:

      I hear you buddy. 8 kids here. Same situation. We are at least in counseling however. She keeps saying I’ve not been supportive of her, even though we are raising 8 kids together and she gets to stay at home. The disconnect is absolutely stupefying. How it got to this point still boggles my mind. My wife has also stopped attending church. I’m seeing a pastor regularly for help. She’s not willing to go most of the time because she’s uncomfortable I think submitting to her husband, and also to church authority. (Now we know how Christ must feel about us and his bride huh?)

      Anyway, the thing I have found most helpful is prayer. Something always amazing happens. A friend will call or text her out of the blue and try and speak truth to her, but so far, she is resisting hearing anyone except her need to be free of our burdensome relationship. Even her own mother is trying to help her, and she won’t budge. She is also living with a deep hurt from her childhood that I think contributes to trust issues. Stay strong brother.

  27. Angela from United States says:

    So I was married to my kids father for 7 years divorced got back together a year later. That lasted for about 4 years. We finally parted ways in July of 05. One month later I met what I thought was my forever husband. My ex was an alcoholic and felt E-Harmondy didn’t affect our relationship. My dream guy swept me off my feet and 3 months later we got married. I had my Christian husband and he was amazing with my kids. He was always raised very old fashion with older parents. I appreciated his values and ethics to work hard to provide. He worked daily to provide for our home as well as his mother and fathers home.

    The company business was always his dads in some sorts but my husband was the laborer for the company. His parents had the company along with all financial anythings to do with the company in my husbands name. I was never asked to be a part of the company and never asked him to be, really not anything I could have done anyways.

    Anyways, his mother has always had snide remarks to say here and there and had caused issues not letting go with my husbands brothers two ex wives. When we first got married my husband had an aren across ministry that I loved being a part of. My husband is very passive and was always a go with the flow kind of person. Long story short 3 years into this he had a friend that wanted to be a part of it so he told my husband that the only way it would work is if their wives were not involved. I was crushed because I had always been involved and his wife wasn’t so my husband is the one that was missing out on his wife but never would speak of it. He went with the flow and I did not let it go lightly. I was extremely hurt as if he was chosing this guy over me. This is how I felt and even though he understood my feelings basically told me to get on board or get out because this was his calling to ministry and he was doing God’s work.

    You see a lot of kids ride on weekends and my husband had a minister that would hold a little church service on the Sundays we had an event and we would have kids come to know Jesus. AMEN right. Me not liking his new decision in partners caused a couple of years of issues. One day when I realized get on board or lose your husband I started going to the events and realized it wasn’t that bad being in the stands versus being involved and I enjoyed watching my husband do something he loved. That brought me joy and shame at the same time for losing out on a couple of years of shared joy with him. He ended up selling the arena cross to his partner. I never understood why and even told him not to because hey, I was finally on board. He said it just wasn’t the same because I had caused him so much hurt with it. I didn’t understand. I was on board isn’t this what he wanted? I genuinely enjoyed it and even apologized for not being happy from the beginning with his decision.

    Well last summer we sold some land and Nov 1 we moved into what we both felt was our dream home for life. Talked about growing old on the porch together in our rocking chairs. At this point I only have my daughter still at home the son has moved out and become a man… (these are his step kids but he loved them as his own).

    Well Jan 11, 2013 he came home asking me if I had said this and that about his mother and I didn’t. His brothers new wife and I didn’t get along well and she told him I had said some pretty awful things. That night he told me he was leaving and wanted a divorce. He told me I wasn’t a godly woman and that I didn’t have the fruit of the spirit showing. He told me that he had prayed and prayed for months for God to open up my heart… it had hardened and I realize this now. I begged cried and pleaded. He came back later that night and asked what we needed to do to fix it. I said we had to make sure God was our center for everything. We went to sleep; everything was fine.

    He got up went to his dads and moms comes back and told me it wasn’t going to work out and he wanted a divorce. He told me that he has prayed and God told him this is what he should do. I died right there. He believed my sister in law and on Jan 13, 2013 he left out new home, me, my daughter, and our life. That week he went and retained a lawyer. I have prayed and prayed. We still are not divorced and went to court on may 29. What is taking this judge so long to sign the papers? I feel God is truly at work and I have told my husband that I will continue to pray. He told me a month ago that he wasn’t 100% sure about not reconciling and then a week later tells me we will never get back together. Those are harsh words.

    I would like some scripture that would maybe speak to him and some scripture that can help me to get past this. I know I have to give it up to God and I am really trying. It is just so hard sometimes when I love him so much but am not getting it back. HELP>> I know there is power in prayer so please keep me on your prayer list.

  28. SPM from United States says:

    I really don’t know where to begin. 2.5 years earlier my wife started working a 3 to midnight shift that I didn’t agree with. However, I helped her out as much as I could even though the job effectively meant we didn’t see each other 5 days a week. For a while I tried staying up at night to see her but it was having an impact on me to not get enough sleep. The job itself is what I would call a meat market, with people constantly flirting with one another. My wife seemed to have gained a “social life” from the job, as most the people there were friends and knew each other outside of work.

    I finally got a much better job a few minutes from home and was able to see her at lunch time. I asked her if she would quit the job now that I made more money but she wasn’t interested. We slowly drifted apart and tried to repair it once again due to the job. Finally by late last year she seemed disinterested in married life and I was the one watching our child at nights, taking him to preschool and picking him up from preschool the 2 days a week he went. I was doing all the cooking, the housework as well as the yard work.

    In February of this year I was suspicious of her and by late April I had realized that something was up. I approached her about it and I knew she was lying. I was under the impression that she had gone on some dates. She called the police on me and put a restraining order on me. The restraining order was lifted a few weeks later in favor of restraints where we agreed not to talk. I’m still not in my house but I’m paying all home expenses. I see my son every other day. Her mother has come to live with her in the meantime and seems very comfortable. I haven’t said a word to my wife in 3 months.

    I pray most nights but some I don’t. She has made statements that this is only temporary and she doesn’t want a divorce, but what kind of marriage is it when the 2 people don’t talk to one another and have a 5 year old child? I don’t know what to do. Our church offered counseling immediately and she rejected it. I’m in week 5 of anger management. What do I do?

  29. Deborah from United States says:

    I have a ?. Why is it the wife that has shut the man out? Is it because of the years of mental and physical abuse, that she is supposed to put up with, then 15 years later, she develops osteoporosis because of the ankle break when he threw her down the stairs? (Of course that was her fault, if she would only listen.)

    What we have here is a generation of men that do not know, and are afraid to know where their place in the marriage. Sure if you read the Bible the woman is a home maker, but we all changed the rules on that, and 84% of woman are working p/t or full time, and the husband still expects dinner on the table, and the wife takes care of the kids, and has not time for herself. If this doesn’t sound familiar, it happens because it was my marriage. Then my husband left me, because let us be honest, how many women can do that much work, while their husband’s are out playing soccer, watching basketball. I want to say though in 2013, I commend all and I mean ALL of the men that have taken their place in the home and taken great responsibility towards the new world that we live in.

    I am married again, and honestly, if you are married to a man that won’t say he loves you, and won’t have a heart to heart talk about finances, and will not under any circumstances say he is wrong, you have two choices, stay in the prison without walls. Or move on. Men grew up most did and are very controlling and bullies. I am sorry for the great guys out there, but that is the majority. If you are not in the majority, then congratulations, and keep doing what you are doing. I am 54, and right in the age bracket, where men really want to control. I see it all the time, Christian, non christian, and honestly, Christian men are the worst. But beyond that, what we all need to do is one thing, LOVE OURSELVES. If we love ourselves, this world will be much more peaceful!

    • Tony from United States says:

      It may be things like you write in a minority of cases. But looking at what has been written on the topic, most husbands are shut out simply because she no longer judges his efforts to be adequate.

      Sorry, but the majority of these cases do NOT involve men as you describe. They involve men who may be clueless, but not men who set out to abuse their wives. After all, why would these men be trying to reconcile with their wives if they didn’t love them? Totally illogical for a man to try to win back the heart of an unfaithful wife who has shut him out if he doesn’t love her.

  30. Wayne from United States says:

    My wife of 20 years has hardened her heart and it’s my fault. She left me almost 11 months ago. I have not been the husband and father that God intended for me to be. I have mistreated her on more than one occasion. For this I have repented and God has dramatically changed me. I am currently in counseling and hope one day she will join me. She was a stay at home mom and I’ve been the bread winner.

    She recently went back and finished her Associates degree and she went to work about a year and a half ago. She became so consumed with work and school and I was very frustrated with the company that I work for. In the meantime she grew colder and more distant. Things blew up 11 months ago and we had a terrible fight in which I made several threats. I have neglected her needs; she will not forgive me and says it’s too late. I have prayed for forgiveness and know that God has granted this.

    Although I have apologized it has no effect. She doesn’t want to rebuild our marriage. I have told her that the best thing we could do to glorify God and for the sake of our kids is work on our marriage but she’s not on board with it. We are both Christians but don’t even attend the same church anymore. I have repeatedly asked her to go to counseling but she is not interested. I have told her that I want to reconcile and make a fresh start but she keeps saying divorce.

    I just can’t believe that after 20 years of marriage that there is nothing in her heart for me. I told her that I still love her and feel strongly for her but she is so hardened nothing I say means anything. I’m praying that God will humble her and soften her heart to me because I know that deep down God hates divorce. I have told her that and that I would like to try and rebuild our marriage. I’m going to be patient with her and ask for your prayers. Please pray for reconciliation. I don’t want to see my marriage fail or be separated from my wife and two girls who I love dearly. Please pray for us.

    • RS from United States says:

      Wayne, I am right there with you in this. 30 years of marriage, and for 16 I have been the sole bread winner & my wife stayed home & taught our children while obtaining her Masters Degree. She is a very bright woman. I also have driven my wife away without intent. She is a great woman & I failed at my role as the husband. I have been gone too much working & when I was there I did not meet her need of feeling of needed, loved, appreciated along with others. The Lord has also changed me & my attitude. I love my wife, I think more than ever, but she is seeking a divorce. I will pray for you at this moment. Remember, God is the God of second chances & nothing is impossible with Him.

  31. Megan from United States says:

    I have to say that I am the wife with the hardened heart. Although I wouldn’t have stated it that way. This article has put to words EXACTLY my feelings. I have been married just over 17 years with 3 daughters. I have tried (in vain) to hold onto my marriage throughout these years. I had asked to do marriage counseling, to which he responded…”Why? I’m happy.” 5 years ago I bought the book Love Dare with 2 workbooks for my husband and I. I asked him to please do it with me… and his response… he didn’t have the time.

    He took the book and workbooks and donated them to the church. 3 years ago, we had a huge fight, where he said he had no regrets as a husband or as a father. When I explained that I didn’t feel loved or appreciated, he told me that he loved me as much as he was capable of. Beyond that, I was too needy. He told me that I would need to divorce HIM because he wanted to be unblemished, biblically. I told him I wasn’t ready to financially separate from him and that we would need to just co-exist for the time being.

    After years of subtle, mental and emotional abuse, I told my husband I was finished and wanted a divorce. When I said finished, I meant ABSOLUTELY finished, at the end of my rope. This article says drowning/suffocating. I TOTALLY felt that way. I wasn’t saying that I was finished to “shake him up.” I was sincerely done trying. I’m a Christian. I stayed for many, many years because I didn’t want to disappoint my church friends and family or God, but leaving is now the ONLY option for me to survive.

    My husband has “changed” to everyone around us. He seems so contrite and repentant in front of the children, telling me how much he loves me and wants to preserve our family. But he continues to badger me, harass me and shake the Bible at me. He vacillates between begging me to stay with him and to reconcile with him, to using guilt to try and make me stay. In the mean time, he hired the most vicious attorney in town, emptied out all our bank accounts and told me that he would “destroy me”.

    Really, he needs to write a book… he did nothing but push me further and further away. AND when I try and explain that, he justifies ALL his behaviors, because I am his wife, his possession. He denies all wrong doing within our marriage, with the exception of “Not loving me the way I need to be loved.”

    I have come to the conclusion that if I need to stay in this marriage to be a Christian… then I don’t want to be a Christian. I was saved as a 4 year old little girl and Christ has been the center of my life and I’ve tried to live every day to bring honor to him. I cannot believe that HE expects me to stay in this relationship… I’m a shell of the person I used to be.
    Asking him for a divorce was the hardest thing I have done in my life, but going back is NOT an option. God forgive me…

    • Tony from United States says:

      So how does this help a man who genuinely wants to reconcile with his wife who has hardened her heart against him?

  32. Chris from United States says:

    My wife has hardened her heart to me due to infidelity. I truly thought she didn’t love me anymore but I know that is no excuse. I swear it kills me to see her hurt so. We are still in the same home with our 2 kids and share a bed on the weekend when I am home but I see her pulling away and understandably so. After reading this I better understand what I have truly done over the years to break her and I fear that I am not worthy to win back her affections. As a Christian should I let her go in hopes that she find a better man than I have been? She has been saying we are seperated for a month but life is just the same other than her removing her ring. She still even brings me dinner. I love her more than I love myself and feel so low –any guidance would be appreciated.

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